[erlang-questions] Go vs Erlang for distribution

Miles Fidelman <>
Sun Jun 22 04:07:12 CEST 2014


One quibble - see below:

zxq9 wrote:
> On Sunday 22 June 2014 01:43:49 Alexei Sholik wrote:
>>    2. In his recent talk at EUC Garrett Smith showed us an interesting
>> slide[1] where Go appears to be one of the primary alternatives to Erlang,
>> as chosen by _Erlang programmers themselves_. To me this implies that
>> Erlang programmers have found in Go some of the principles Erlang builds
>> upon, the fact I'm going to dispute below.
<snip>
>
> I don't see Go as offering anything new. At all. Erlang is a decent language,
> but as you noted, that's not the real magic as its more an artifact of the
> history of the platform's implementation than anything else. The important
> thing is the platform and the complete way in which it embraces the Alan Kay
> sense of "objects" (and that term being so loaded and meaningless now, has
> been avoided in favor of "processes").

I see Erlang as an implementation of the Actor model, a la Carl Hewitt - 
which developed in parallel with Alan Kay's work, and influenced it (and 
both were influenced by Simula).  Smalltalk-72 included message-passing 
concurrency of sorts, but that pretty much went away in later versions 
of Smalltalk (messages remained, but multiple threads of execution kind 
of went away).

There's a very interesting discussion of this in the archives of the 
fonc email list - starting at 
http://vpri.org/mailman/private/fonc/2013/003975.html (which builds on 
Alan's "Early History of Smalltalk" paper - 
http://gagne.homedns.org/~tgagne/contrib/EarlyHistoryST.html).

Miles Fidelman


-- 
In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice.
In practice, there is.   .... Yogi Berra




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