Erlang forums (was Re: PING TEST)

Fred Hebert mononcqc@REDACTED
Mon Dec 27 21:53:01 CET 2021

On 12/26, zxq9 wrote:
>A central point I have to drive into my geopol and intel students over 
>and over is that "Capacity drives intent". Even if the original intent 
>was to make a more "modern" single place to discuss Erlang, once that 
>place becomes The One True Community the exclusionary capacity enabled 
>by it will eventually change the intent of those running it. (In the 
>end it will only make the Erlang community lore harder to find in the 
>noise -- but whatever, no online platform is forever unless you do it 

I don't know that there is a "one true community." I now count at least
2 (if not 3) IRC servers and channels, Twitter, the new Erlang forums,
the Erlang section on the Elixir forums, Slack, at least some discord
servers, github discussion groups, the EEF (and its own slack as well),
user groups and conferences, this mailing list (while it is in

In the past there used to be, Erlang Central, Basho mailing
lists, etc. Even while the mailing lists were active, erlang-patches and eeps
lists were seeing their content shifted to Github issues and

The Erlang forums were opened with the mailing list is still ongoing,
and even before the announcement that the mailing list would shut down,
it had started accruing activity at a faster rate than here.

I don't really mind where the community ends up manifesting itself, the
bigger part of it is who is there and what the interactions are (which
is in no small part why I left StackOverflow; not much in terms of real
interactions, the gaming mechanism overtakes all). It would certainly be
disappointing to lose some heavy guns of the community who won't make
the move, and if I could just keep being subscribed in many places, I

>I'll be on the ML as long as it is around and might occasionally check 
>the forums if I'm super bored, but I'm pretty much seeing this as the 
>end of the graybeard era -- it will definitely be a case of "nobody 
>realized what they had until it was gone".
>I have absolutely benefited an unfair amount from having this mailing 
>list as a resource for the last several years. Thanks to all for the 
>lessons and the laughs. Being proven wrong on the ML has always been 
>one of those magical experiences where I could directly map blows to 
>my ego to immediately useful lessons learned -- really fantastic 

Similarly here. The mailing list and the possibility of talking to
everyone directly has been a huge influence on my career and I've
learned more from this community -- often in these threads -- than in
most other places I have ever been around.

Unfortunately, the thread we are all discussing in was literally started
because this list started feeling so dead someone was wondering if it
was still working.

The sad realization is that the mailing lists were already whithering
away, mostly because that's no longer where all discussion would take

I decided to do a quick check from scraping the archives by gzipped
size to get an idea of how much messaging goes through:

     $ w3m -cols 200 | \
       awk -vFS='[^0-9a-zA-Z]+' '/Gzip/ {print ($12=="KB" ? $11 : $11/1024) "KB", $2, $3}' | \
       sort -rn | awk '{print NR "\t" $0}'
     1	860KB February 2014
     2	680KB May 2011
     3	526KB October 2012
     4	489KB June 2008
     5	468KB March 2012
     6	467KB January 2013
     7	464KB November 2007
     8	459KB August 2006
     9	455KB February 2012
     10	451KB November 2011
     68	277KB January 2021
     166	128KB December 2021
     192	100KB May 2021
     218	80KB September 2021
     221	79KB August 2021
     244	57KB April 2021
     250	51KB November 2021
     253	49KB June 2021
     256	48KB February 2021
     260	41KB March 2021
     263	37KB October 2021
     264	37KB July 2021
     272	25KB June 2000
     273	23KB February 1999
     274	18KB May 1999
     275	17KB July 1999
     276	17KB January 1999
     277	15KB March 1999
     278	0.686523KB January 1997
     279	0.548828KB May 1997

This current month of December is the most discussions we had since
January 2021 (mostly due to the "Pinning operator ^ in patterns"
thread), and most of this year and last year has had activity similar to
the years 1999-2001. Obviously there's no control here for quality vs.
quantity, but it's also obvious the mailing lists aren't what they used
to be either.

I definitely have personal archives of the Erlang mailing list I'll keep
for a long time, and I hope that the erlang-questions archive remains
publicly available for the foreseeable future, but the mailing list has
long been shutting itself down.

More information about the erlang-questions mailing list