New EEP draft: Pinning operator ^ in patterns

Valentin Micic v@REDACTED
Thu Jan 28 11:19:56 CET 2021

> If the people who rely on Erlang for their businesses and their jobs have needs that are not fulfilled by the language as it is, then either the language can evolve or those users will eventually move to another language, either on Beam or on some other platform, leaving Erlang in the eternal maintenance realm of Cobol, with no new systems being written in it, and no new users apart from those dragged in to keep some old system running.

Since you have call upon businesses “who relay on Erlang”, and given the fact that my business has relied on Erlang for  better part of this century (last 18 years to be specific),  I would have to offer my opinion on this — you are welcome to ignore it, but I feel obliged to correct you here.

Even if one ignores a “straw-man” nature of the first portion of your argument — if you do not want to end up like COBOL, you should do what I say; it really does not follow that leaving out this “pinning operator ^” will condemn Erlang to the ashes of history. 

As a person with somewhat long memory,  may I suggest it was not the syntax that condemn COBOL to “eternal maintenance”.
Rather, it was a demise of main-frame that did that. No amount of advancement of the syntax (COBOL 2014 anyone?)  could have prevented it.

Quite frankly, the amount of logical fallacies engaged by supporters of this proposition is, well, quite embarrassing:

1) Appeal from authority — Well, this is supported by WhatsApp team and otherwise prominent people;

2) Composition fallacy — if it is good for WhatsApp, it must be good for everyone;

3) Straw-man argument — establishing a relationship with “failed” programming language, thus establishing undue inferences;

4) Non sequitur — it does not follow that accepting or rejecting one or another form of a particular syntax would jeopardise the future of Erlang.

It is not my intention to dismiss this “pinning operator ^”, however, I have trouble seeing the real value of it (probably because such value remains well hidden behind this unhealthy mix of logical fallacies).


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