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

Joe Armstrong erlang@REDACTED
Sun Feb 16 18:55:50 CET 2014

On Sun, Feb 16, 2014 at 11:33 AM, Loïc Hoguin <essen@REDACTED> wrote:

> On 02/16/2014 03:40 AM, Miles Fidelman wrote:
>> - My sense is that a lot of the comments in this thread have been about
>> the need to promote adoption of Erlang - which is really a
>> business/company decision, not that of individual developers (at least
>> in my experience, it's companies that make language/platform decisions,
>> for business reasons).
> ...
> > any good engineer who's
> > working on high-availability, high-concurrency systems either already
> > knows about Erlang, or will find it pretty quickly when doing technology
> > assessment for a project with requirements that are best suited for
> > Erlang
> It's companies that make decisions, but it's developers that introduce
> companies to the different choices they have. There's indeed a fair amount
> of chances that someone working in HA at least heard about it. There's no
> real need to target them.

I'll just throw in another comment here:

I (and expect other people who are active in the Erlang community) get a
lot of requests for help:

Roughly - they fall into two categories:

a) I'm thinking of using Erlang but I need to persuade my boss - do you
have any marketing material?

b) I'm *using* erlang - I have this particular problem. Can you help?

Who do you think I help?

To requests of type a) I think - "Google" this has been asked many times
before - go Google.
It's not difficult to find marketing material on the net. If you type

"Youtube + Erlang" you get 483,000 results - do you want me to write yet
another article about
Erlang so you get 482,001 results - I think not.

Class b) questions are far more interesting - especially when they pose
that are *difficult* to solve in Erlang since these point to areas where we
might be able to
improve the language.

So what should I do?

1) Help people who have already decided to use Erlang to prove that the
choice was correct, or
2) Try to get new people.

Right now I choose to do 1) directly and 2) indirectly by giving lectures
and writing books.

There is a lot of evidence out there "on the net" that Erlang is pretty
good for a range of problems
so my suggestion is "go Goggle" do you own research, do you own
measurements. Don't believe
what other people say.

If anybody wants to find out if Erlang is good they should gain personal
You can never persuade anybody else of anything, they must persuade


> Everyone else though? Ask any 9-to-5 developer if they heard of Erlang.
> You will get very few positive answers. And if you are the only one who
> heard about it in a company, then it's never going to be used even if it's
> the perfect tool for the job.
> Erlang can be used for anything server, not just HA. Erlang could replace
> PHP or Ruby or whatever and do so while also saving costs (less developers
> needed, less/smaller servers, etc). If only enough people even heard about
> it.
> The other thing is that Erlang lacks in (properly maintained) libraries.
> Getting Erlang known beyond what's it's historically good at is what needs
> to be done to fix this. Because if it's only used by HA people then you'll
> just get more process registries, pools, distributed frameworks and such.
> Which is great when you're building an HA system. But not so much when you
> need to output Excel files for accounting, or crop and resize an image, or
> send an SMS. Which is the kind of tasks that most developers spend their
> time doing.
>  -- Is this true?  How does supply and demand for Erlang developers look
>> right now?  (Anybody from Erlang consultancies able to comment here?)
> Right now I don't know but about a year ago I heard the number of 400
> Erlang developers needed in the Bay area alone. I assume of course that
> this includes companies that would be interested in using Erlang if only
> there was developers to hire.
> US companies that do use Erlang today are forced either to look in Europe
> and elsewhere (Basho and Ubiquiti Networks do this AFAIK), or train their
> staff (that's what the evening school of Erlang was about).
>  -- On a related note:  A lot of this comes down to computer science
>> education.
> Definitely.
> --
> Loïc Hoguin
> http://ninenines.eu
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