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

Francesco Cesarini (Erlang Training & Consulting) francesco@REDACTED
Mon Sep 5 09:26:27 CEST 2005

I have been reading this thread with interest. As a consultant working 
with Erlang helping others evaluate the technology, there have been 
times when presentations given by us have resulted in the opposite 
effect... Java and C++ projects being discontinued in favor of rewriting 
everything in Erlang. It does happen, but not often enough. The feeling 
of seeing the C++ and Java buffs run out of arguments and grind their 
teeth is priceless...


Dev Functional wrote:
> 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"
> 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
> Dev.

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