erlang ground breaking?

Shawn Pearce spearce@REDACTED
Thu Apr 8 02:45:52 CEST 2004

Ulf Wiger <ulf.wiger@REDACTED> wrote:
> I stumbled across a Wiki list of "ground breaking languages"
> Erlang is listed as the "interesting and useful" but not necessarily
> ground breaking.
> If anyone feels differently, there's a discussion page where you can
> voice your opinion.
> Personally, I can't make up my mind as to whether Erlang is truly
> ground breaking, but am not going to lose any sleep over it.

I think when I first started using Erlang I felt that it was
ground breaking, but perhaps only because threading was so painful
and expensive in every other language/environment I've ever had the
misfortune of using.  When you add mnesia and OTP being present in
the default install, Erlang/OTP is a pretty powerful platform...  but
we all know that already.

I think the big things that struck me were:

	- processes
	- ! and receive
	- atoms
	- multiple function clauses

but now that I've looked at a whole host of other languages, I see
where Erlang's roots are.  And understand why its only "interesting
and useful" and not ground breaking.

Lets all be happy Erlang wasn't ground breaking by bringing some
horrible feature to the table like C++'s templates and their syntax.

(Of course, C++ wasn't the first generic programming language.  It
just happened to become the world's most popular way to screw up
generic programming for the masses.)


  Old Japanese proverb:
  	There are two kinds of fools -- those who never climb Mt. Fuji,
  	and those who climb it twice.

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