[erlang-questions] Support for newcomers and the popularity of Erlang

Wojciech Knapik <>
Mon Mar 19 18:31:55 CET 2012


On Mon, Mar 19, 2012 at 6:11 PM, Fred Hebert <> wrote:

>
>
> On Mon, Mar 19, 2012 at 12:19 PM, Wojciech Knapik <>wrote:
>
>> Hello everyone
>>
>> I have a question regarding mnesia that the books I have and the
>> tutorials I found do not answer.
>>
>> I tried IRC, but was refered here. I tried the Manning forum, but was
>> refered here. And here I was completely ignored. Not even a "go away",
>> nothing. I had to check the list archives to make sure my emails reached
>> their destination.
>>
>
> I was one of the people who tried to help you on IRC; I'm generally busy
> with my own things and not *that* knowledgeable about Mnesia, sorry I
> couldn't do more.
>

I'm sensing this will be a common theme with mnesia. I guess not a lot of
people feel their knowledge of mnesia is very strong. It's a little
surprising, since it's such an impressive feature of Erlang.


> The referral from (IRC | Some site) to the Mailing list is usually
> something done because people wherever you are do not know the answer or do
> not have the resources to help you. The mailing list is where a lot of
> veteran Erlang programmers take their time to reply (whenever they have
> time), including some people from the OTP team itself, working at
> implementing the language. It's an escalation of tiers for help, but
> nothing comes really fast and yet again, answers may not come at all.
>

The presence of so many people involved in the creation of the language,
OTP and the books about both on this list is a great thing. It only
furthers people's expectations though ;]


>
>
>>
>> I know this isn't some paid support list and you have no obligation to
>> help anyone, but with a community of this size, you decide about the
>> language's popularity by answering (or not answering) people's questions.
>>
>
> Many of us do our fair share. People here work on some of the 'killer
> apps' that more to Erlang's name than it had at Ericsson (although Ericsson
> people are on here too!). You've got the contributors of all major Erlang
> servers, many databases written in Erlang, message queues, build systems,
> regulars from many corporations (Klarna, etc.). I myself decided to write
> Learn You Some Erlang, and you've got other people on here who do
> professional training, contribute to a lot of open source projects, work on
> the core Erlang repositories themselves, etc.
>
> The community has a noticeable size, but it also has a *lot* of work to
> do and being done constantly. The same community that does a lot of this
> work also tries to write their own doc and come in here and do support (and
> ask for it when they need it).
>
> I understand this isn't exactly relevant to your problems, but I would say
> the community is not yet large enough to have too many resources and plenty
> of leeway for mailing list support.
>

Of course. I get it. I must admit, I needed to draw your attention a little
bit, hence the slightly provocative post ;]


>
> If you manage to solve your problem, I do invite you to stay on the list
> and help people who need help in the future.
>
>

Oh, I definitely will!


>
>
>>
>> I'm now part of a group of 9 developers undertaking a rather large
>> project and Erlang is, in my opinion, the perfect fit for us. Most other
>> members of the group are beginning to see this too. The only problem is
>> that none of us know this language. Sure, we're reading the books (and
>> they're excellent btw), but you know that books only go so far...
>>
>> I'd like nothing more than to stick to Erlang for this project, I've been
>> a fan of functional languages for years, but we've only written a page of
>> code and we've already run into a problem that noone seems to want, or be
>> able to help us with.
>>
>> We all know a number of languages and make a living developing code in
>> them, so the temptation to switch to something we're familiar with, where
>> support will not be a problem, is pretty big. I'm guessing this is a very
>> popular scenario when Erlang is being considered for a new project (once
>> you get past the fact that everyone will have to learn a new language and,
>> in most cases, a new programming paradigm).
>>
>
> Switching to a language you know might be a valid approach if you can't
> get what you need (and the help currently given in this thread isn't
> enough). Getting your products out is the most important thing, I figure.
>

Well, one of MY major goals with this project is to have fun learning
Erlang, I'm not really interested in writing this in C++, so I need to make
sure we can work without worrying about being left completely alone with
our problems a few months down the road.


>
> I just hope this wouldn't turn into a blog post about 'how the Erlang
> community is unfit for newcomers' or something like that :)
>

Hehe, no, certainly not.

WK
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