[erlang-questions] node.js vs erlang
Sat Jun 21 01:58:25 CEST 2014
On Friday 20 June 2014 09:02:29 Roger Lipscombe wrote:
> On 19 June 2014 11:57, zxq9 <> wrote:
> > Django users certainly don't. The Django documentation and the Python
> > documentation -- two non-trivial documentation projects if there ever were
> > -- are primary examples of how to speak directly to an open source
> > community in its own language while making things approachable without
> > dumbing anything down.
> Personally, I find the Python documentation completely unapproachable.
> Too many details, too few examples.
I've never heard that, but you can hardly be the only one to feel that way. In
your opinion, how does it compare to the Ruby or Perl documentation? Django?
I highlight the Python docs because they provide a complete tutorial and then
pass to the library reference. The tutorial is much more decomposable than
most (its not a walk-through of developing a complete project), and its
surprisingly complete with regard to feature coverage.
You're right that the Python docs do not include many (any?) examples of
complete projects (outside of the package/distribution section), but I believe
they provide sufficient examples of specific features in isolation to be
useful. This seems to be the exact thing you dislike about them. They have
proven useful enough, anyway, that someone totally new to Python can jump into
the code of an existing project and start learning on the fly. It worked for
me (I understand this is a dangerous phrase, though).
Note the Python docs do not teach OOP or FP. I don't think the Erlang docs
Perhaps its that complete application-package type examples tend to occur in
framework project documentation, not in language documentation. So, for
example, after skimming over the Python tutorial one can work through the
Django tutorial and publish a simple application from that. From there they
tweak and modify and, viola!, have a trivial thingy running that does what
But from there, of course, they run into some serious issues. ORMs simply
don't work well for non-trivial cases. The excited coder now is forced to
learn more about Python and to return to the docs, but this time to the
library reference, not the tutorial. At some point he must understand more
about the database bindings that are letting him talk to Postgres, and he
finds relative uniformity among the Django, Python and psycopg2 docs (we can
learn a lot from this detail, I think). Ultimately he must learn about
Postgres itself, and that means learning about relational concepts if he
didn't know them already -- and the Postgres docs fill the gap remarkably
This is a confluence of docs from totally different projects written at an
appropriate level for their purpose. I can't imagine the core Erlang docs ever
being so comprehensive without an absolutely staggering amount of effort.
Few people start with an initial goal of learning Ruby; they start with a
desire to use Rails or work on Puppet or something else -- Ruby is an artifact
of implementation. Few people (who get very far) start with an initial goal of
learning Python, either; most start with a desire to use [any killer app in
Python], and wind up learning a lot about Python along the way. I suppose the
key is to find that killer project everyone wants to work on or killer
framework everyone wants to use -- write it in Erlang, and diligently garden
the docs of that other project.
(Sorry for the long message. This turned out to be part live brainstorm and I
don't have enough time to shorten it just now.)
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