Erlang use in Italy
Mon Apr 11 11:47:26 CEST 2005
--- Peter-Henry Mander
> I still hear the guys using C or C++ where I work
> talk at great length
> about memory management issues, messaging queue
> implementations and
> distribution across nodes, mutexes, semaphores, race
> database replication etc... even after more than
> THREE YEARS of
> development effort!
As an acquaintance of mine put it (with some relish),
"effort is not progress".
I think the case can be made that (i) Erlang is lower
risk than "roll your own" since much or most of the
above development has already been done and tested for
you, including the huge swathe of C code invoked by
the emulator; furthermore (ii) Erlang thus permits you
to work on "adding value", as the business types put
it, rather than messing around with home grown
solutions to well-known if difficult problems.
I wouldn't say Erlang is a silver bullet, but it does
at least provide a simple, powerful, flexible, proven
way of writing and debugging functioning concurrent
and distributed code.
> Another argument against Erlang is speed. With
> simple or moderately
> complex programs, certainly C will win outright with
> up to 10x speed advantage.
On the other hand, if the Erlang program is fast
enough (and in practice it often is), why sit around
tinkering with C or C++? Have they no sense of
Also, do their C solutions scale? How many threads can
they run at a time? What is the space overhead per
thread? Throughput vs latency and all that. Maybe you
should show them Joe's yaws-graph.
(And then there's the reliability aspect of
Sure, in some performance critical cases, especially
regarding latency, Erlang might still be too slow. In
that case, why not use Erlang for the OAM parts? :-)
However, if the other party is satisfied with what
they have, and they are making their deadlines (and
the time to market is good enough), then I think you
will have an uphill battle.
There has to be a compelling reason to switch --
otherwise there will just be a lot of disgruntled
programmers who will produce sub-par Erlang code and
blame the problems on the language.
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