[erlang-questions] Erland users group (was re: languages in use? [was: Time for OTP to be Renamed?])

Richard A. O'Keefe <>
Mon Feb 17 04:09:46 CET 2014

On 16/02/2014, at 11:02 AM, Pieter Hintjens wrote:
> IME this isn't inherent in standards setting. After AMQP (the
> disaster), Steve and I worked on RestMS, which made no splash, yet was
> clean and elegant and used a different standards process (the Digistan
> model) that avoided any arguments. We have used that model again in
> the ZeroMQ RFCs, and there are no flamewars.

Would you be the Pieter Hintjens of whom it was written
	"it must be acknowledge that Digistan is the
	result of the vision and tireless (but tactful)
	energy of Pieter Hintjens"?

I was involved in an attempt to produce an open revision of the
Smalltalk standard; by the time I tried to submit my proposal
for Processes (based on a consensus of about 8 implementations),
the process was dead.
> Standards are really important. Both for the language (to ensure
> competing implementations don't lock in users) and for protocols (to
> ensure competition between suppliers).

Look, I can see this when there *are* competing implementations.
But how has the absence of a PHP standard impeded the acceptance
or reduced the utility of PHP?

Suppose there is a standard for a language.  (Let's call it
Objective-B.)  And suppose there are two vendors.  Let's call
them Apricot and Wildebeest.  What stops Apricot extending
Objective-B faster than Wildebeest can keep up?  What stops
Apricot adding high-value libraries?  These days, what stops
Apricot insisting that applications submitted to the
Apricot (Trading) Pit must be known to work with *their*
compiler so you have to buy their compiler anyway?
(If you don't like Objective-B, then there's B-flat from
GogMaGog.  Same story.)

I wouldn't have spent years of my time contributing to the
Prolog standard effort if I didn't think standards could be
a good thing, especially where there are no rival standards.

But they are neither necessary nor sufficient for the
success or utility or even survival of a programming language.

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