[erlang-questions] Looking for slides of a lightning talk

Ian <>
Thu Jul 12 17:40:51 CEST 2012


You are hearing things in my email that were not there when I wrote it.

I was reporting my experience, not blaming Erlang for anything. My 
experience is that the learning curve for the Erlang tools (coupled 
unfortunately with learning the Linux environment) was extremely steep - 
and ended up with me getting stuck because the tools failed to do what 
they claimed (in multiple ways) before I had the skills or knowledge to 
fix them.

Erlang the language is not the problem. The language is never the 
problem. Once the tool chain is working......

But consider this. Rebar can't be installed in a standard Ubuntu install 
of Erlang!!! WTF?

Would you agree that that means at least one of those installs is 
inadequate for my needs? Its inadequate for anyone who wishes to use 
rebar and Erlang on Ubuntu/Debian.

Would you agree that giving newbies tools that are inadequate for their 
needs, does not help them scale their learning curve?

This is not meant as a criticism of the work people have done. Its a 
very hard problem, and I don't think there is an easy solution.

PHP isn't there yet. PEAR is not widely used. The comments added to the 
manual are very helpful. PHP the language is astonishingly inconsistent.

Python boasts "batteries included". Whatever you want to do in Python, 
there are usually 6 modules that claim to do it - all poorly documented, 
some buggy. So do you spend your time investigating them, or writing a 
7th that you know will do what you want?

Experienced people have forgotten the misunderstandings they had as 
newbies - or they had an experienced person to guide them -  so they are 
genuinely puzzled by the problems newbies face. The newbies can't help: 
they don't know what they don't know.  Few technical people can write 
well, and all are busy with their projects. The result is a distinct 
lack of excellent, current documentation of the tools that can help 
newbies start to use Erlang.

It comes, slowly, with maturity and stability. Erlang the language is 
well documented. Its the docs for the supporting cast that is spotty.  
Which is a shame.

On 12/07/2012 12:49, CGS wrote:
> Hi,
> You blame Erlang for an application written in it which doesn't 
> support MS Windows... Well, that reminds me of a case of saying noSQL 
> databases are not good just because that person/team misunderstood the 
> usage of a particular noSQL database. Interesting how people try to 
> generalize their impressions to a category from a wrongly chosen 
> example. Don't get me wrong, I am not that good in Erlang to mock you, 
> but I think you should ask someone more knowledgeable before you to 
> say something like "Erlang is just too damn difficult to do the easy 
> stuff." I do easy stuff in Erlang. It would probably be more difficult 
> to write a proper C code to do those simple things (like proper 
> threading, distributed applications and so on).
> Now, the problem is what do you need cowboy for? If you need an 
> webserver for MS Windows which is written in Erlang, you can try Yaws 
> (you have installers here: http://yaws.hyber.org/download/). If you 
> need a Erlang-based webserver which you can integrate it in your 
> application, you will need either a Linux or Cygwin (for most of the 
> open source projects, but you can do it without if you use, for 
> example, lhttpc - https://bitbucket.org/etc/lhttpc/src - where you can 
> modify the Makefile to be compatible with MS VS or, for even less, a 
> .bat file). I would avoid installing Linux in a MS Windows box (I'd 
> rather do it oppositely).
Agreed. Ubuntu host with LVM and software RAID, VBox with a windows 
guest. Plans are laid :)

Your other points are all good stuff. Thanks.

I am looking for a fast web server that had a permanent core(1) image 
that I could program, that was not under any run-away timer (Apache) and 
that can handle many simultaneous connections (i.e event driven 
architecture). One of the projects is a special type of chat room where 
silence might exist for long periods, and I don't want a fast heart-beat 
or unnecessary writes to disk.

Note 1 - Core is  RAM to anyone under 50.  ;)

> Erlang under MS Windows works as nice as under Linux (as far as I 
> could play with it under MS Windows), but the installation under MS 
> Windows is much simpler (I would suggest for Linux to compile it from 
> source with the options you need rather than installing it from 
> repositories). I don't know what is your background in programming 
> (and I don't want to know), but there are nice tutorials on web for 
> all the categories of programmers (coming from OOP, functional or 
> whatever else languages). Just get familiarized with Erlang and after 
> that make an impression of your own about the language itself. I am 
> also relatively new in Erlang and I consider I cannot afford to make 
> any statement about how good or not is Erlang. I know only that are 
> some nice things and some not so nice things in Erlang (I leave 
> finding examples to your experience).
Indeed. Erlang under windows is fine. The target server is Ubuntu, so 
developing on that platform has advantages. Particularly in view of the 
planned migration to Ubuntu as my main machine.



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