(Prolog + LISP + Erlang) with integration issues versus C++

Dev Functional devfunctional@REDACTED
Mon Sep 5 05:46:23 CEST 2005

Hello Ulf

Thanks for taking out time to write this mail.

On 9/5/05, Ulf Wiger <ulf@REDACTED> wrote:
> Wild guess, but...
> Basically, since your management started interfering based
> on advice from a close friend of the VP, any justification
> beyond that point will serve mainly to cloud the fact that
> the decision was made irrationally in the first place (or,
> more precisely, irrationally from the company's point of
> view, as it was mainly self-serving and not necessarily in
> the best interest of the company.)
> Once you start suspecting that, it's best to bail out of
> the debate, since the arguments in favour of the decision
> will be tempting to attack -- and attacking them is likely
> to hurt your career in the company. You need to have very
> powerful friends, an excellent case, and extreme motivation
> to take on upper management and try to expose their
> incompetence in a specific case.
> (They may not even be incompetent -- I'm sure all managers
> once in a while move too fast on some issue, and find out
> later that they had trusted the wrong advisor. Once they do,
> they still have to figure out what's worse: having their
> bad judgement exposed, which means they lose authority,
> or go with a less-than-optimal decision? In order _not_ to
> lose face, you have to carefully establish a leadership style
> where you own up to your mistakes and change your mind
> publicly and honestly when needed. This takes a lot of natural
> authority, if you're to pull it own. You can't fake it.)

To tell the truth, the arguments were quite intense and at times heated.
We met three times during the day as a discussion did not seem possible
in one go.

> > 2)  It was stated that it is better to fight with the nuances of one
> >     language, rather than drool on the strength of each of them
> >     independently and then face licensing issues, interop issues,
> >     performance issues, support issues, not to speak of the
> >     maintenance.
> "Drool"? If those were the very words used, I'd say your management
> has an attitude problem towards its engineers.

To quote, "Figure out C++, rather than drooling on Err-lang (mistake
of language),
Pro(log), cli(sp) and mumba jumba. Why do ya' guys want to sink this company ?
Your Lead, has already made a fool of himself by immersing himself in
this spaghetti!"

> >
> > 3)  It was pointed out that today even Ericcsson does not use Erlang
> >     for its new product development. Why ?
> I've answered this. For a more detailed answer, read Bjarne Däcker's
> excellent thesis "[Erlang] - A Case Study of Technology Introduction"
> (http://www.erlang.org/cslab/publications/bjarnelic.pdf)

Unfortunately, the Thesis also highlights Ericsson's decision to do things
in C++ (rather than Erlang). 

The moment I mentioned this in the discussion, a 1 page printout of the
specific page from the thesis was shoved on my face. 

To quote, 
  "Huh ? Why this ? Has somebody paid you to do this to us ?
  Rather than wasting time on defending some bag of exotic languages,
  why don't you focus on taking the project ahead ?
  You are the lead, aren't you ? Why are you behind ?"

> Good luck. Getting pounced on is never fun, but if you
> insist on using great technology, it's bound to happen
> every once in a while. Many of us have been there. (:

The junior dev's have agreed to participate in C++ training.
The management talked to them about "future employability"
and importance of having main-stream skillsets.
Who will hire a lisp(er) [with a slant on stuttering (sic)] or an 
(err)lang(err) was their refrain ?

Mostly, I am on my way out.

Apologize to all the esteemed members of this list for this non-technical mail.

kind regards

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