[erlang-questions] Time for OTP to be Renamed?

Pieter Hintjens <>
Thu Feb 13 09:13:12 CET 2014

Garrett's video deserves an nomination for... something.

I think we stopped naming languages with acronyms around 1968, and
even then switched to mixed case for the survivors. Only aliens still
use letters for language names (C#, F#, etc.)

It's confusing to laymen what the difference is between Erlang and
OTP. One imagines Ruby and Rails, except it's not that.

I think the simplest plausible solution is to (a) stop using OTP as a
confusing and needless synonym for Erlang, (b) create new layers on
top that can have sexier names.


On Thu, Feb 13, 2014 at 12:22 AM, Richard A. O'Keefe <> wrote:
> On 13/02/2014, at 11:56 AM, Loïc Hoguin wrote:
>> The same situation exists with many other names. Few can tell you what SMTP, IMAP, HTTP, REST, SOAP, HTML, XML, JPEG, PNG and others stand for without looking it up and not making a mistake or three.
> Let's try.
>         Simple Mail Transport Protocol
>         Internet Message Access Protocol
>         HyperText Transfer Protocol
>         REpresentational State Transfer
>         Simple Object Access Protocol
>                 to be honest, my first thought was
>                 Symbolic Optimal Assembly Program,
>                 but I don't suppose many people use IBM 650s
>                 these days.
>         HyperText Markup Language
>         eXtensible Markup Language
>         Joint Photographic Experts Group
>         Portable Network Graphics
> How did I do?  (Really no lookup.)
> One reason it's worth knowing what the acronyms stand
> for is that they can stand for different things.  It
> could be embarrassing to speak critically of XML to
> someone and then discover that they think it means
> "X-Men Legends".  Or to speak about membership in the
> ACM and learn that they're thinking of the Academy of
> Country Music.  A discussion of SOAP when one person
> is thinking "grotesque abuse of XML" and the other is
> thinking "cute assembler for strange old machine" is
> not going to be fruitful.
> OTP could be One Time Pad, Open Trading Protocol,
> Outline Test Plan, or any of an number of other things
> relatable to Erlang (and more that aren't).
> "We're using OTP to implement OTP using an OTP for
> authentication; here's our OTP for it."
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