[erlang-questions] Beginners tutorials

Sat Jun 14 01:20:36 CEST 2014

My apologies, Anthony, if I sounded too harsh. I've felt Steve Vinoski's lash and appreciate his tribute to you.

I certainly agree that spelling and careful editing are an essential part of the publication process. And your point re: outside review is well taken.

But, with all respect, I contend that constructive encouragement is a more effective way to promote vital community involvement than harsh rebuke. 

But maybe you and Steve are touching on an essential issue: 

Just exactly who with what experience and qualifications would the Erlang community like to attract and invite into the fold? 

Clarity on this question should inform any and all documentation including beginner tutorials. 

If only staid, respectable engineers and corporate executives are invited, then I don't fit. 

I'm a novelist/small press publisher --- army of one --- looking to master Erlang sufficiently well to build tools that I need in my business. I've been programming for many years, indeed owned a software development shop for more than two decades. I don't doubt that as a programmer my best day is miles behind your worst. For that reason, I don't consider myself a professional programmer.

That said, I found Gordon's site both interesting and informative. I learned a great deal that I had no idea was going on in the Erlang world even though I do make efforts to keep up.

But that highlights a second point: We do, I'd venture, agree that there is a very fine line between interesting, accessible discourse and talking down to your audience. Problem is, what's interesting and accessible to me as a semi-technically literate reader may well be disrespectful to you as an experienced Erlang wizard. As they say, horses for courses; different strokes for different folks.

One thing I can't sufficiently emphasize, however, is how much I appreciate Erlang and the community that has worked so hard to make it the fine set of tools that we have today. I feel like I owe a tremendous debt. But given my vast ignorance, the only thing I have at present to contribute is the noobie perspective and the ability to ask stupid questions.

And that is my sole motive for speaking out on this thread.

All the best,


-----Original Message-----
From: "Anthony Ramine" <n.oxyde@REDACTED>
Sent: Friday, June 13, 2014 6:41pm
To: lloyd@REDACTED
Cc: "Gordon Guthrie" <gordon@REDACTED>, "Erlang" <erlang-questions@REDACTED>
Subject: Re: [erlang-questions] Beginners tutorials


I don’t think I have a problem with neither volunteer effort nor jokes.

I have a problem when new terms are invented with vague definitions, when things are released too early before any editing, when authors make too many jokes and otherwise address me as if I were somewhat slow.

About typos, I suggest Gordon to ask for reviews from people before he releases tutorials and whatnot, people on IRC are generally happy to help with such things. Better than ending on HN’s first page in that state, no?

Otherwise, I am currently in the process of making erlc’s output better, akin to Clang’s, with nicer error messages for the beginners and experienced developers. Anyone is free to join #erlang on the Freenode network if they wish to help. I’ve been saying this for a year now, because there was other, more interesting, things to implement. That and procrastination.


Anthony Ramine

Le 14 juin 2014 à 00:02, lloyd@REDACTED a écrit :

> Sigh. 
> Isn't there a more constructive way of pointing out spelling errors? 
> This thread has clearly brought out the wide interest in and perceived need for introductory Erlang tutorials. Gordon Guthrie has put substantial creativity and some amount of work into his submission. Pure volunteer effort. Unless I've missed something, it's the only concrete submission so far.
> Why disparage it? Why discourage the next submission tickling someone's brain for fear that it will be dissed on erlang-questions?
> The target audiences for Erlang tutorials ranges far beyond executives. There's room for many styles and approaches ranging from whimsical to rigorous academic to to bottom-line justification aimed at audiences ranging from students to young engineers to start-up entrepreneurs to grey-beard IT execs and more. There are many learning styles and many ways of teaching.
> So my take, the more the merrier. 
> Please, Anthony, it's your turn now to show us what you can do and how it can make a difference.
> All the best,
> Lloyd
> -----Original Message-----
> From: "Anthony Ramine" <n.oxyde@REDACTED>
> Sent: Friday, June 13, 2014 5:07pm
> To: "Gordon Guthrie" <gordon@REDACTED>
> Cc: "Erlang" <erlang-questions@REDACTED>
> Subject: Re: [erlang-questions] Beginners tutorials
> Hello,
> I hope to not sound rude, but I can’t imagine any executive in their right mind choosing Erlang with such an overly colloquial website ridden with spelling mistakes. For starters, such a person will look up « Cluster System », to no avail. Why invent new terms? Why try too hard to be cool?
> Regards,
> -- 
> Anthony Ramine
> Le 13 juin 2014 à 17:58, Gordon Guthrie <gordon@REDACTED> a écrit :
>> I have taken a bit more radical approach.
>> People traditionally comparing Erlang to other languages - and Erlang
>> loses because of its weak spot - it has a prolog syntax in a world
>> dominated by c-like syntaxes.
>> I decided to compare Erlang/OTP with other ways of building
>> multi-machine clusters.
>> Here's my hell world attempt:
>> http://erlangotp.com
>> Thoughts comments, welcome
>> Gordon
>> On 12/06/2014, Mark Allen <mallen@REDACTED> wrote:
>>> I started http://introducingerlang.com right after EF2014 in San Francisco.
>>> It's intended to be a really short and simple introduction to Erlang for
>>> people who know how to program in other languages but don't know Erlang. I
>>> have a mostly documented OTP application (uses Gordon Guthrie's "literate
>>> Erlang" markup) with a supervisor, gen_server and application modules here:
>>> https://github.com/introducingerlang/todolist/tree/master/src_md
>>> I would welcome any help finishing the documentation of the modules in that
>>> repo or extending/correcting/fixing the web content that's already there. I
>>> can add you directly to the github organization.
>>> Thanks,
>>> Mark
>>> From: Joe Armstrong <erlang@REDACTED<mailto:erlang@REDACTED>>
>>> Date: Thursday, June 12, 2014 9:54 AM
>>> To: Erlang
>>> <erlang-questions@REDACTED<mailto:erlang-questions@REDACTED>>
>>> Subject: [erlang-questions] Beginners tutorials
>>> Re: Garrett's great talk at EUC2014
>>> The point has been made many times before that
>>> "There are no easy Erlang getting started guides"
>>> So I thought I'd take a look at Node.js.
>>> The node js home page (node.js) starts with a simple example
>>> <quote>
>>> var http = require('http');
>>> http.createServer(function (req, res) {
>>> res.writeHead(200, {'Content-Type': 'text/plain'});
>>> res.end('Hello World\n');
>>> }).listen(1337, '');
>>> console.log('Server running at');
>>> To run the server, put the code into a file example.js and execute it with
>>> the node program from the command line:
>>> % node example.js
>>> Server running at
>>> </endquote>
>>> It's pretty easy to knock up an almost identical example in Erlang - using
>>> any of the well-known web
>>> servers in the background, unfortunately this has not been done, or if it
>>> has been done
>>> it's not easy to find the examples (or if there are examples I can't find
>>> them)
>>> I was vaguely thinking of making some examples that are more-or-less
>>> isomorphic to the
>>> node.js examples and then applying small transformation steps to turn then
>>> from idiomatic node.js code to idiomatic Erlang code.
>>> Although I could find a simple hello world example in node.js I could not
>>> find a tutorial that
>>> started with a simple example and then built on it in very small steps
>>> adding routing, authentication,
>>> database access and so on.
>>> Does anybody know of some examples of node.js that could be used for this.
>>> Cheers
>>> /Joe
>> -- 
>> Gordon Guthrie
>> CEO hypernumbers
>> http://hypernumbers.com
>> t: hypernumbers
>> +44 7776 251669
>> _______________________________________________
>> erlang-questions mailing list
>> erlang-questions@REDACTED
>> http://erlang.org/mailman/listinfo/erlang-questions
> _______________________________________________
> erlang-questions mailing list
> erlang-questions@REDACTED
> http://erlang.org/mailman/listinfo/erlang-questions

More information about the erlang-questions mailing list