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

Loïc Hoguin <>
Sat Feb 15 21:31:22 CET 2014

On 02/15/2014 02:28 PM, Carsten Bormann wrote:
> I’d suggest other people read it with the same point of view, and focus less on how to prove Pieter wrong on this mailing list, and more on ways forward to counteract the undesirable perceptions on a wider scale.

To make a comparison, it generally goes like this:

What's Go? -> Language from Google by the Unix people -> I know and like 
those, therefore Go must be good too, plus it looks similar to what I'm 
used to.

What's Erlang? -> Language from Ericsson invented 25+ years ago -> 
Really? I'm not sure what Ericsson does... If it was invented 25 years 
ago and I haven't heard about it yet it must not be very good, plus it's 
not OO so it must not be very useful.

You can't fix that.

What you can fix about perception is actually minimal stuff. Like 
changing the name. Using release numbers that aren't from another 
planet. And so on.

I like to bring up MongoDB when talking about Erlang's perception. 
MongoDB is the slow equivalent of /dev/null. Everyone knows that, even 
people who use it. Yet despite this it became very popular very fast. 
Why? Because they could pour money down the marketing hole (plus they 
are marketing geniuses, seriously, read up on it).

They understood that what matters most initially is *not* perception, 
but simply being known. And that's the problem. Nobody knows Erlang. 
Perception matters very little, people talking about it is what matters. 
If one person tells you about Erlang and how awesome it is, you will 
just forget about it the next day. But if you keep bumping into people 
who tell you all about Erlang, not only the good but also the bad, you 
take notice.

It's nothing new really. I'm sure there's a saying somewhere about how 
the worst isn't being hated but being ignored.

This problem can be solved, but it requires either complete marketing 
geniuses (no offense but what ESL is doing is not genius) or a lot of 
money, preferrably both.

Loïc Hoguin

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