[erlang-questions] Erlang for youngsters

Peer Stritzinger peerst@REDACTED
Fri Jun 20 17:37:50 CEST 2014

On 2014-06-20 14:25:41 +0000, José Valim said:

> I just don't see any value for the Erlang community in this [teaching 
> Elixir to kids]
> So basically you are saying that you don't see any value in:
> * teaching developers/kids a language that runs on the same VM as Erlang
> * teaching developers/kids a language that uses the same concurrency 
> mechanisms, processes and distribution abstraction as Erlang
> * teaching a language that is functional and promotes immutability as Erlang
> For me teaching any language that promotes any of the three example 
> bullets above brings value to Erlang.
> To get more inflow into the Erlang community one way was suggested be 
> to teach kids Erlang or something more kid friendly based on Erlang.
No thats not what I'm saying at all.  

I see value in all that in itself.  I just don't see it that it helps 
Erlang in any way.

Since I suppose you see Elixir as better than Erlang, why would all 
those Elixir programmers come to Erlang suddenly.  Of course it helps 
the Elixir community to teach Elixir.  At best it doesn't hurt Erlang, 
but it certainly doesn't help it.

That doesn mean it isn't a goal itself.

All I say is that we don't help Erlang with it.

We have a bunch of languages that run on BEAM, well not a problem, 
diversity is good etc.
Not arguing against hit having now implemented one myself.

But this has nothing to do with my argument, that teaching Elixir to 
kids doesn't solve the problem Garett is talking about in Erlang.  

> We also have an excellent focus on tooling and on documentation both 
> which are very helpful when learning a language. But, of course, those 
> points are always dismissed even though it is clearly stated in the 
> project home page. 

Good for you if your documentation and tooling sucks less, still 
doesn't make Erlangs documentation and tooling better.

> Instead of claiming Ruby for being the result of a pop culture, we 
> should actually ask ourselves what were their efforts and how did they 
> get to the point where they can have a room full of kids at events 
> learning how to program.

I was just togue in cheek half quoting Alan Kay: "all computer 
technology is pop culture"

> We should ask how can both Elixir and Erlang community *be together* in 
> tackling this (and LFE and ...). More people, more time, more energy! 
> If Elixir is good at attracting Rubyists, maybe we can get the 
> attention of some that were involved in those teaching projects to give 
> us some pointers?
> Do you want to help the community grow? Do what Katie said: "embrace 
> diversity", don't actively fight against it.

I'm all for diversity, thats why I'm a bit tired of the constant Elixir 
being better for everything droning (now even teaching kids) on the 
Erlang mailing list.   Especially if one immediatly gets attacked when 
stating the opposite which I only did to find out why some here seems 
to think Elixir is better to teach kids ... doesn't help a common 
community at all.
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