[erlang-questions] Erlang VM in Rust

Jeremy Pierre <>
Wed Sep 20 17:31:22 CEST 2017


Begging the list's indulgence with tangential and possibly off-topic
content.

On Tue, Sep 19, 2017 at 7:57 AM Daniel Goertzen <>
wrote:

> How does Alpaca compare to F#/Ocaml?  After tasting some Rust and Elm,
> working in Erlang makes me a bit nervous too.  My dream is to see a BEAM
> ML-like achieve Elixir stature.
>
>
In terms of syntax it's closest to OCaml but it's worth noting we still
lack some significant features one would be used to, e.g. ML's module
system (and functors, etc) and you'll see hints of Elm in some places like
our records.  We kept things like adding fields to records, e.g.

let record_example () =
  let r1 = {x="hello", y="world"} in
  {pi=3.14 | r1}

is perfectly legal without declaring those record types in advance.

r1:  {x: string, y: string}
record_example:  {pi: float, x: string, y: string}

There's a basic tour of the language here if you're further curious:
https://github.com/alpaca-lang/alpaca/blob/master/Tour.md

The pending v0.2.8 release (held up by me being super slow on a couple of
bugs I should have fixed months ago) adds some substantial stuff like type
annotations and better compiler feedback (both community contributions!)

Jeremy


>
> On Tue, Sep 19, 2017 at 8:57 AM Karl Nilsson <> wrote:
>
>> On Tue, 19 Sep 2017 at 12:41 Jesper Louis Andersen <
>> > wrote:
>>
>>> On Wed, Sep 13, 2017 at 11:38 PM Richard A. O'Keefe <>
>>> wrote:
>>>
>>>> What's your opinion of F#?  It seems to be the language
>>>> of choice for people who liked Caml but need to take advantage
>>>> of multiple cores.  I haven't done any benchmarking; I doubt
>>>> that it could match OCaml in raw speed.
>>>>
>>>>
>>> I have not used it enough to have an opinion (yet). Were I to
>>> communicate a lot with the .NET platform, I'd probably pick it because it
>>> has a null value and this is a necessity when talking to C# I'm told.
>>>
>>> Given that it runs under a pretty powerful JIT, it could perform really
>>> well for a lot of tasks I think.
>>>
>>>
>> F# doesn't typically have any speed advantages of any other .NET
>> languages and in every comparison I've seen to OCaml it has performed
>> worse. If anything the allocation costs induced by a functional first
>> programming style means it is typically a bit slower than the equivalent C#
>> code (also there is no goto).
>>
>> As a language F# is the nicest I've ever used substantially. I find it
>> easy (and fun) to write reasonably correct code in. Also I hardly ever fear
>> refactoring (compared to erlang where I break out in cold sweats even for
>> code bases that pass dialyzer).
>>
>> I even like it so much I've started hacking on an fsharp to core erlang
>> compiler. (https://github.com/kjnilsson/fez).
>>
>>
>>
>>> My "dream" would be an industry-supported parallel MLton :P
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