[erlang-questions] Erlang http servers

Steve Vinoski <>
Fri Oct 5 13:53:32 CEST 2012

On Thu, Oct 4, 2012 at 9:24 AM,  <> wrote:
>> Can someone please summarize this thread for me?  If I am going to run a
>> web server in Erlang, which one should I use?
> Right now, Cowboy seems to be the favorite.

Favorite among whom? This is a very broad statement that isn't broadly
true. There are many Yaws users out there, many Mochiweb users, and I
bet there are more than a few who still use Misultin.

IMO Cowboy is popular among folks who need a library-like HTTP server
and who also like to be leading edge, but not everyone falls into that
category, not even close. Also, there seems to be some ongoing rumor
that Yaws can't handle library-like HTTP apps, but that is entirely

> WebMachine is still popular for writing RESTful web services, but note
> that Cowboy provides this too.

This statement is slightly confusing. The phrase "Cowboy provides
this" could be taken to mean "Cowboy provides Webmachine", which isn't
true. So just to be clear, what you really meant was that Cowboy
provides assistance for writing RESTful web services.

> Apache users who don't want to proxy to Cowboy probably want to use Yaws.

This is another unfair generalization. I've never been an Apache user,
yet I've used Yaws for everything from regular websites to embedded
systems and it's always given me just what I needed.

At about 11 years old and still going strong, Yaws is popular among
users who need a system they can count on to provide years of
production stability, backwards compatibility, and consistent support,
all while keeping up with the latest Web developments such as
streaming, long polling, WebSocket, and Server-Sent Events.


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