Collateral Damage

Austin Ziegler halostatue@REDACTED
Mon Apr 25 20:21:59 CEST 2022

On Mon, Apr 25, 2022 at 2:03 PM valentin@REDACTED <valentin@REDACTED>

> Dear Austin,
> To assert that people do not like a particular proposal because “it looks
> too much like Elixir” is not just unfair, but outright insulting.

How, then is one supposed to take comments as the following (emphases added
by me):

   - And furthermore in this particular EEP there's this thing I hate more
   than anything else - turning language X to language Y. Quote - "This is
   known as "pinning" in Elixir - see the Elixir documentation." *If you
   like Elixir do your job with Elixir. Why spoil Erlang?* Especially when,
   quote - "In current Erlang, this behaviour is what happens
   - I said it for years. *Elixir is cutting the branch it is sitting on.*
   - Retire the entire string-as-list paradigm, use binaries by default (*the
   one good thing about Elixir*), and at last make everything UTF-8 by
   - Somehow my (sad) feeling is the idea is exactly in destroying the
   Erlang as we know it. "*No matter how hard we try, we cannot make Elixir
   more preferable -- at least let us make Erlang *less* preferable.*"
   - *One question - why? Just because we can? Erlang is doomed, Sorry Joe,
   we f**d things up.*

This thread is about discussing a proposal for language change and we
> should try our best to keep our focus on that.
> Introducing a completely irrelevant (I’d even say imaginary) argument in
> support of any given position is not helpful at all.

One would be hard pressed to call my characterization of these quotes as
*imaginary*. These are all from the last ~3 days (and reflect 3–4 different
posters). The previous discussion about 18 months ago was just as full of
such hyperbolic inanity. I think that my shorthand of "it looks too much
like Elixir" as characterizations of these quotes is as positive as one can

Languages *do* evolve over time. I don’t have a strong opinion on this EEP,
as I don’t generally write Erlang. I think that there are some solid
objections to it as written, and at least a couple of counter-proposals
that should probably be written as EEPs as alternatives to this one (and to
each other; the two would probably be mutually exclusive). I even agree
that "oh, ghu, *another* sigil" is a legitimate objection (there’s some
recent syntax added to Ruby that I’m ambivalent to negative about). But any
objection which includes fears of Erlang becoming not Erlang or slights
against another programming language for *reasons *can and should probably
be dismissed from the discussion for being hyperbolic and unproductive. It
indicates that the posters don’t have any trust in the Erlang core
development team, and are likely pining for a time / world that never
actually existed.

Broadly, this would be the difference between conservationism and
conservatism. The former is good. The latter leads to stagnation,
irrelevance, and regression.

Austin Ziegler • halostatue@REDACTEDaustin@REDACTED
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