[erlang-questions] languages in use? [was: Time for OTP to be Renamed?]

Pieter Hintjens <>
Sat Feb 15 13:01:27 CET 2014


On Fri, Feb 14, 2014 at 4:39 PM, Miles Fidelman
<> wrote:

> Actually, the demand for both Cobol and analog engineers is UP.

Friend of mine was just laid off from a 15-year Cobol job. One can't
make general conclusions from small samples.

The argument that keeping technology elitist creates wealth is insane
and should be laid to rest rapidly. Who here is building new
businesses on LU6.2? Right.

It was extremely enlightening last week, at a workshop with a medium
sized Erlang shop. Opening statement: "We chose Erlang because it lets
us build large distributed systems with a small team." Then two full
days of, "oh, that's one more serious problem we're facing, caused by
how Erlang does things."

A technology either lives, by growing and merging with others, or it
dies. Erlang is far from being a living technology and survives pretty
much thanks to a single dominant customer and investor. It claims to
be the best solution for distributed systems, yet is entirely
homogeneous, which is also an insane contradiction. Distributed
systems by definition must span space and time, or they are
LegacyAsAService.

Erlang's elitism and lack of broad appeal is the #1 threat to its long
term survival. It is frankly the Algol 68 of the telco industry.
Awesome language!! Yay!!!

To measure market success in terms of "how much can a developer earn"
is also so foolish I'm embarrassed to read such views. This is meant
to be a list of clever people. For pity's sake. That's like claiming a
protocol is valuable because it's so hard to implement. Wealth comes
from building up. How can you build up if your basic layers aren't a
commodity? There's a million times more wealth built on PHP than
Erlang. Real wealth.

Erlang needs to shed its telco ties, and get an independent steering
committee, and create standards, and multiple implementations, and
also reach out to other language communities through distribution
protocols like ZMTP, and educate those communities, while also
exploiting them and merging with them. Living systems are like the
Borg; they grow by merger.

Mock Java all you like. It's a hateful language in many ways. But Java
programmers know how to work together. There are 6+ different Erlang
stacks for ZeroMQ, all one-man projects, all lacking any community.

-Pieter



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