[erlang-questions] Go vs Erlang for distribution

Garrett Smith g@REDACTED
Sun Jun 22 04:27:30 CEST 2014

On Sat, Jun 21, 2014 at 5:43 PM, Alexei Sholik <alcosholik@REDACTED> wrote:
> Hi,


>   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.
>   [1]: https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Bqr9xJJIgAIUewQ.png:large
> So now comes the question: what do Erlang programmers think about Go
> stealing some of the mindshare (and job-share) in the area of building
> distributed systems? Why would if be a good option? Or not an option at all?
> Just professional opinions based on your experience with Erlang please.

The question that people answered was:

  What languages or frameworks would you consider as alternatives
  to Erlang?

This seems straight forward enough, but each answer was in
narrative/text format, so there was usually some context. Often
"alternative" was interpreted to mean something closer to

Users of Erlang and Go are generally well aware of the extreme
differences as a language and platform.

Go is thought of as a more OS/posix friendly language that offers some
concurrency features. So it's an alternative in cases where
performance and systems programming/integration is important. It's not
a drop-in replacement for Erlang, of course.

Respondents frequently cited golang.org as a motivation for adoption,
or at least their comfort level. It seems there's some inspiration
there in the way Go is marketed/communicated.

My personal takeaway is that the Erlang community and Ericsson might
look closely at the way Google presents and supports Go. I have no
idea what specifically would come from this, but I plan on spending
some time on this in the near future.

So, one last observation. Let's be careful not to over read this
survey. It's provocative, fine. But my hope was that we could measure
a little and then do a little, then rinse and repeat. And indeed there
are a number of practical steps that people are talking about that
have emerged from this work. But let's be aware that, for some, these
topics can serve as emotional and cathartic outlets with little chance
of improving Erlang or its adoption. I'm not suggesting this is
happening - just that it might. Because then people will start yelling
at me off list for stirring all this up. Seriously, I can sense them
leering from the shadows.


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