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

Thomas Lindgren <>
Thu Feb 13 13:11:04 CET 2014

Regarding teaching erlang/OTP, I think this one is nice: 


Diving into OTP is a bit messy, but in the larger scheme of things it doesn't make sense to hide one of the main features of practical erlang programming. (I wouldn't mind a more elegant OTP on the other hand, but we're getting there.)

By the way, since you mention e2, here's a little project to fast-forward the simple uses of applications and supervisors: https://github.com/thomasl/gen_app

gen_app:app_sup(testapp, [{sup, my_sup}]).
This starts a (dynamic) application testapp running a supervisor my_sup without children. You can also easily start more complex things like supervisor trees with various strategies, including the classic supervised gen_server, and much more. Note that what's often a couple of boilerplate modules are replaced by a few lines. 

I'm currently debugging, pondering the API and looking at how to specify more complex cases like the ssl application in this framework.

(PS. You will probably have to massage the Makefile a little bit to build, sorry. See the link for more.)


On Thursday, February 13, 2014 11:00 AM, Ivan Uemlianin <> wrote:
On 13/02/2014 09:51, Garrett Smith wrote:
>> ...
>> What sucks IMO is that OTP is treated as "advanced" by the community
>> and by book authors. I understand the history of this, but there's a
>> cost: programmers delay learning core Erlang principles of
>> *applications* -- i.e. supervisor trees -- because it's not taught up.
>This I very much agree with.  I think an Introduction to Erlang book 
>that started with releases and applications would be a very good idea.
>> It's also incredibly complicated, if you don't use e2.
>> The irony is that *advanced* Erlang programmers can get away
>> programming outside the OTP guard rails. Beginners should not even
>> consider doing this until they understand why OTP works and why they
>> should deviate.
>> e2 helps, a lot.
>> The whole point of e2 is to simplify the correct use of OTP -- letting
>> programmers *start* with applications, supervisors and gen_servers (in
>> e2 they're called services and tasks -- simple huh). I know it's
>> controversial, but it's controversial to those who have been teaching
>> Erlang while this stuff was being baked. I don't run into new learners
>> who object to starting with OTP using e2 (though maybe they're just
>> being polite -- if you're out there and had problems learning with e2,
>> please drop me a line, or yell at me here).
>> I agree wholeheartedly with Pieter. It's just Erlang. Keeping the term
>> OTP is a historic vestige. We're used to it, but it's a dead weight
>> that adds only confusion.
>> The Ruby / Rails comparison is not accurate. It's more like Rails 1.0
>> / Rails 2.0.
>> Sadly though, I just don't see "OTP" going away because there's a
>> trickle of noise from this list :|
>> I make videos to cope.
>> On Thu, Feb 13, 2014 at 2:54 AM, Ivan Uemlianin <> wrote:
>>> On 13/02/2014 08:13, Pieter Hintjens wrote:
>>>> ... (a) stop using OTP as a
>>>> confusing and needless synonym for Erlang, ...
>>> Is that what OTP is used as?  I thought OTP was a set (or framework, or
>>> platform) of libraries (behaviours, supervision, etc.) that facilitate the
>>> development of highly scalable and reliable applications (telecoms-grade
>>> scalability and reliability you might say).  AFAIK it's open-source.
>>> Yes, let's rename it to something that more closely reflects what it really
>>> is.  How about the "Open-source Telecoms-grade reliability and scalability
>>> Platform"?
>>> Ivan
>>> --
>>> ============================================================
>>> Ivan A. Uemlianin PhD
>>> Llaisdy
>>> Speech Technology Research and Development
>>>                       www.llaisdy.com
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>>>                          festina lente
>>> ============================================================
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>Ivan A. Uemlianin PhD
>Speech Technology Research and Development
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>               github.com/llaisdy
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>                         festina lente
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