Erlang documentation

Daniel Solaz dsolaz@REDACTED
Sat Jul 10 00:06:48 CEST 1999

#!/usr/bin/entropy --why-me wrote:
>        I am very new to Erlang. I come from the C/C++/Python/Perl world
>of Linux and I am new to functional programming as well.
I think knowing FP makes the difference.  Even though I usually code in
procedural/OO languages, I knew Lisp and some ML (that really helps)
before coming to Erlang several weeks ago.  So no problem at all with
the language, and no need to compare with others when trying to figure out
how to do something (also, the sources are there for you to take a look,
it's an interesting thing to do).

>I found the whitepapers on Erlang astounding as well as the ease at which
>you can do distributed programming.
The fact that the Erlang libs are so rich (web server, DBMS, CORBA) is
what got my interest.  I'm currently looking for the way to make my boss
let me code in Erlang a system made of a DBMS and an HTTP server,
something that will start as a small project but might grow to enormous
proportions (possibly requiring non-stop service and distribution over
several Linux and/or NT boxes).

>However, I have a problem with the tutorial. I think the main reason why
>Python was able to catch on was the documentation set was so complete.
Is it?  The docs on extending and embedding the interpreter are minimal,
for example.
I believe python wins because it's a well documented bit of everything
(procedures, classes, some functional behavior) with extremely simple
and clear syntax, interpreted AND portable.  Rich libs, too, though
sometimes too close to C (sockets, for instance).  Now if it only had a
real garbage collector...

>My complaint with the Erlang online docs is that they ramp up the
>complexity too fast from the trivial examples to the hard ones.
Possibly.  I find they make you think about what you're doing.
Anyway I suggest that you get some extra docs: the Erlang spec, the
(free) part one of the Erlang Book, the pdf about the 4.4 extensions...
I found everything in the Erlang website.


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