[erlang-questions] The future of Erlang and BEAM

Radek poprosturadek@REDACTED
Sat Feb 11 15:00:35 CET 2012

Hi Miles,

Well, although I didn't mean to write a new language (I meant writing 
Erlang-for-JVM, but rather as a DSL), I agree that Erlang IS very mature 
and stable. And of course, it started as a industry-level language, so 
it's designed to operate as such.
I was just wondering if and maybe we could benefit from being hosted on 
JVM which is, although not THAT industrial-level, also capable of being 
used in such conditions and is most popular VM on the world (so far). 
The obvious advantage of using Erlang in such conditions would be (apart 
from above) just not using verbose Java, which is big plus on it's own 
:) (in my opinion).

So, if we could have both of the worlds, i.e. industry-level of OTP and 
JVM ubiquity, that would be something huge I think.


W dniu 2012-02-11 14:41, Miles Fidelman pisze:
> Radek wrote:
>> But after "wow effect" has gone, I discovered that there are many 
>> high performance Java libraries that seem to resolve many problems 
>> that Erlang is theoretically best suited for (real-time, low-latency 
>> applications, concurrency, fault-tolerance, etc.). Moreover, it seems 
>> that there are things that, despite Erlang profile, are just not 
>> possible to achieve on BEAM (like LMAX Disruptor concurrent framework).
>> So the question arises: is Erlang still the best platform to build 
>> such demanding applications ? Wouldn't it be better if we stick to 
>> one, very mature (J)VM and try to make it even better than trying to 
>> achieve something similar with less resources available (size of OTP 
>> team vs. JVM team, supporters, etc) ? And is it possible at all to 
>> achieve this kind of performance and adoption with BEAM ?
> Two observations, from someone who has just started a migration to 
> Erlang - in service of a project with massive concurrency at its core:
> 1. Erlang and Java start from very different programming 
> perspectives.  As far as I can tell, Erlang is still the only 
> environment designed, from day one, to support massive concurrency 
> (processes as fundamental vs. objects as fundamental).
> 2. Erlang is about 10 years older than Java, and used for building 
> production systems from its inception.  There's a lot more real-world 
> experience packed into Erlang and OTP - particularly where massive 
> concurrency is concerned.
> Seems to me that Erlang is far more mature than Java for the kinds of 
> problems and environments that are now emerging.
> Now one might argue that there's a good academic exercise in writing 
> yet another new language, that learns from the lessons of Erlang, and 
> maybe cleans up some of the more obscure syntax, but such an exercise 
> would take a long time before yielding any kind of mature platform.
> Miles Fidelman

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