Publicity needed: was Re: Is erlang too small?

James Hague jamesh@REDACTED
Wed May 12 17:33:14 CEST 2004

Joe Armstrong wrote:
> IMHO - To get the user base  to grow we need to
> publicize what we've got and not necessarily write
> new applications.
> What I think we're lacking now is good flashy
> documentation.

I somewhat agree about the documentation, although I think flashy tutorials
would be just as good (like the ones on your home page).

But I see two other issues:

1. It's hard to package up an Erlang application to give to someone else.
2. It's hard to make visually appealling Erlang applications, because the
GUI side of things is...well, bad :)

On the first:

I routinely write interesting utilities in Perl and give them to other
people to use.  If I say "you have to install this Perl system first," then
that's a bit awkward, but it's still usually okay.  But if I also wrote some
utilities in Python and some in Erlang, then I have to get them to install
new systems for each of them.  Long term, I need to make sure that person
upgrades when necessary.  This is all a big pain, and a simple, standard way
of wrapping up an application to give to someone else is sorely needed.
Good Windows support for this is critical.

(On a related note, Erlang gets flagged by software firewalls (under
Windows) as accessing the internet (making apps written in Erlang look like
spyware!), even when the code doesn't use any networking or distribution
features at all.  It would be nice to either have network initialization
delayed until necessary, or to have a command line switch to disable
networking completely.)

On the second:

Ex11 is awesome...if you're running an X server.  Personally, I'd like to
use OpenGL for all screen output.  But what's really needed here is
something simple and standard.  Gotta make those applications look pretty if
you want people to think they're cool :)

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