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

kraythe . <>
Thu Feb 13 18:29:34 CET 2014

I Guess my answers would be:
0) If there is a business case, you can convince them. Low adoption hurts
their maintainability and staffing much more than it does for the startup
or small company. They are a business, not a bunch of unreasonable oafs.
1) Why rewrite the libs if you use the same initials. I wouldn't worry
about that. The programming world is replete with examples of such things.
2) and updating the docs will take ... 10 man hours? Do we not have search
and replace capable tools?
3) Same answer as 2.
4) Dont need to "make sure" of anything. If the books want to be accurate
they will use the new name, if not "shrug" thats their problem. Trust me
someone on amazon will post "Its not called Open Telecom Platform since
2014, it stands for "Open Technology Platform". There are enough pedantic,
basement living, people on the internet that will annoy authors into
5) Small matter of documentation. "It used to be called X but was renamed
to Y in 2014"
6) History is history. Those investigating the language will get it. It
startedo ut being a telecoms thing and migrated to a general language. No
problem. Live web sites can easily add in blurbs. Old articles will be out
of date but not from the time frame of when they were written. No big deal.
The sky isnt actually falling.
7) Obviously this one is just frothing. The man could update the next
version of his book with more information, cool tricks, whatever and sell
it as a second edition.
8) What "traditional SDK" are you referring to? The LISP standard lib? ;-)
Java? C? Ruby? Haskell? Which one is the "normal" one? Normal is defined in
the context of the language, not in the context of another language? In
fact the vast majority of SDKs for java are third party to the JDK itself
9) Trying to crystal ball the future will only give you a headache. The key
is to move from where yo are to a point where progress has been made and
recursively loop on that algorithm, not be paralyzed by "what if .... ?"

You may have been doing Erlang for ages and feel quite the man but the
question really boils down to "what would you like for the future of Erlang
to be?" If the answer to that in your mind is "A niche language that I can
call myself a guru at and everyone looks at me quizzically and puts up with
my eccentricity or dare say arrogance." then the current name and trend is
fine. If the answer is, "A powerful general purpose programming language
for developing applications using functional paradigms and widely accepted
as being the solution to the next generation of software problems." Then
marketing is important.

I have told you my "green" impressions of OTP and you can dismiss them if
it make you more comfortable but it wont change the fact that others will
have those feelings and many will not get on the list and go further. They
will simply move to Ruby, Scala, Node.js, Clojure, or something else. If
our attitude is "I didn't want you in the community anyway!" then Erlang
will be the next Smalltalk or Lisp. Of academic and little more than that
in significance.

*Robert Simmons Jr. MSc. - Lead Java Architect @ EA*
*Author of: Hardcore Java (2003) and Maintainable Java (2012)*
*LinkedIn: **http://www.linkedin.com/pub/robert-simmons/40/852/a39

On Thu, Feb 13, 2014 at 11:08 AM, Fred Hebert <> wrote:

> I have a hard time seeing how the next steps go.
> 0. Convince Ericsson
> 1. Rewrite libraries like OTP_Mibs to no longer bear the acronym OTP,
>    and do so in a backwards compatible manner over 2 releases
> 2. Rewrite language docs to omit mentioning OTP, use a replacement term
> 3. Rewrite language tutorials online to omit mentioning OTP similarly
> 4. Make sure new books, tutorials, blog posts, etc. do not refer to OTP
> 5. Add in pointers somewhere easy to find that explain why stuff was OTP
>    before and even had entire sections of books devoted to it but now we
>    no longer mention the name
> 6. Live with the legacy of roughly 15 years of open source 'OTP' and
>    'Erlang/OTP' mentions and how it doesn't make sense anymore even
>    though nothing changed in practice.
> 7. Ask manning to re-print Erlang and OTP in action as 'Erlang and its
>    SDK go for a Picnic'
> 8. Have people ask why it's compared to a SDK when there's a lot fewer
>    features than traditional SDKs, and point them to this thread.
> 9. Discuss renaming the Erlang SDK to something else for better
>    marketing purposes since the adoption of Erlang didn't change and was
>    possibly hurt during the confusion.
> I don't know. Sometimes you gotta live with your legacy.
> Regards,
> Fred.
> On 02/13, Garrett Smith wrote:
> > On Thu, Feb 13, 2014 at 8:59 AM, Vlad Dumitrescu <>
> wrote:
> > > On Thu, Feb 13, 2014 at 3:46 PM, Anthony Ramine <>
> wrote:
> > >> Java without OOP is a different language.
> > >> Erlang without OTP is still Erlang.
> > >
> > > IMHO the only difference is that OTP is implemented as a library and
> > > doesn't have dedicated language syntax. I make difference between OTP
> > > as design/system building guidelines and its implementation. The
> > > former is more like OOP for Java. The latter is more like the JDK.
> >
> > This Java/JDK distinction is exactly right. This is how I view the
> > relationship between Erlang and OTP.
> >
> > And this is why I think we ought to stop using "OTP" altogether. When
> > people talk about Java, they use "Java" even though it includes a
> > monstrous amount of core code that can technically be separated. It's
> > just "Java".
> >
> > Now, I'm on record using Java as a model of simplicity vis-a-vis
> > Erlang. Great. I didn't see that one coming :/
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