[erlang-questions] Fear and Loathing in Programming La La Land

Miles Fidelman <>
Thu Apr 5 22:47:30 CEST 2012

Jan Burse wrote:
> Miles Fidelman schrieb:
>> If anything, choice of tools can drive the architecture of a system
>> (Erlang begats even-driven actor architectures, Java begats
>> object-oriented ones.)
> ?? Do you think Erlang is a tool ??

Well... more like a toolbox containing a collection of tools for for 
building and executing systems - comprised of one-or-more instances of a 
run-time environment, a compiler, a language, a collection of 
pre-written components (OTP), and a variety of user-facing tools for 
putting pieces together and executing them.

And it happens that this particular toolbox is good for building systems 
with some particular architectural characteristics: massive concurrency, 
message passing, shared nothing.  I.e., it's a toolbox that's 
particularly suited to the actor design pattern (architecture).
> The language Erlang comes with a tool-set
> (top-level, compilers, etc..) and the
> language Erlang supports a special runtime
> architecture.
> I have only put three angels on the pin,
> at least this is how I see the world. One
> has to distinguish between:
> - The Erlang language.
> - The Erlang tool-set.
> - The Erlang runtime.
> - What else?

I think you miss the point: Arguing about which comes first, 
architecture or tools, (or chicken or egg), is akin to arguing about how 
man angels can fit on the head of a pin.  The answer is "yes."

> Same for other languages such as Java,
> C++, etc.. Usually language is the
> interface between tool and architecture.

I'd frame it as language is the way one represents an architecture so 
that it can be implemented.

In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice.
In practice, there is.   .... Yogi Berra

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