[erlang-questions] What do you like the most about Erlang/OTP?

Loïc Hoguin <>
Tue Aug 28 16:00:23 CEST 2012

On 08/28/2012 03:07 PM, John-Paul Bader wrote:
> I think the question would be more interesting the other way around.
> What do you not like about Erlang/OTP. Here is my list:

Unfortunately that doesn't help me!

I'll answer a few points anyway.

>    - missing json parser

You are kidding, right? There's at least 10 of them available.

(I'm not going to go into the debate of "included by default" vs 
otherwise, I'm a big proponent of a tiny OTP distribution and letting 
people choose what to use. So I wouldn't want a JSON parser by default.)

>    - crappy http support! Its the 21st century and the web is a major
>      thing by now and people want to build awesome backends with erlang
>      but in terms of http erlang really is a ghetto. the supplied client
>      and server modules fail at the slightest traffic blow

Again there's a lot more available than what's in the OTP distribution.

>    - there are sooo soo many things that you could improve about the
>      standard library its actually kind of sad.

Send patches and become happy.

> * OTP Releases: for most of the use cases other than big telcos or
>    banks this is far more confusing then helpful especially when
>    beginning erlang. While I'm sure there are valid use cases for it
>    most of the time I thought it was bloated, cumbersome, slow and error
>    prone.

rebar makes them really easy. They're much easier to build and deploy 
than custom solutions.

> * No built in support / standard way for installing libraries - instead
>    people have to find out about rebar themselves. Look at
>    http://rubygems.org in contrast or
>    https://www.ruby-toolbox.com/categories

That's because the common way of doing things doesn't go through library 
installation. Instead you get the source and build a release out of it.

I overheard things about rebar getting in the OTP distribution, though.

The only thing missing is a central repository for listing available 
application and libraries.

> * Lack of namespaces (duck and cover) - Actually I'd be more than happy
>    with a ruby / python way of doing it but I guess that won't happen

Hopefully it'll never happen.

> * I also think the supplied test libraries are not that great to get
>    started or to motivate anybody to test from day one

Are you kidding? Erlang has the most wonderful test libraries ever. Want 
to test that something(123) returns true? Include the eunit file and write:

something_test() ->
     true = something(123).

It can't get any easier. And I'm not even talking about the greatness of 
ct and proper...

Loïc Hoguin
Erlang Cowboy
Nine Nines

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