[erlang-questions] Lets build a stock exchange!

jm jeffm@REDACTED
Tue Nov 13 03:24:24 CET 2007

G Bulmer wrote:

>> What do you think?
> Sorry to be out of step, but I'd prefer something that *I* could  
> imagine using.
> How about a replacement for eBay auctions (or is Erlang what the e  
> mans now?-)? eBay has fault-tolerance, scale, distribution challenges.
> I could sell my old programming books, which have become useless to  
> me, now that I have started using Erlang ;-)
> Craig's list (http://sfbay.craigslist.org/) has shown that a free  
> classified-ads system can become popular in over 50 countries.
> Go the next step, and provide classified ads and auctions.
> To make it more fun, you could provide several bidding systems, not  
> just highest bidder, like Dutch Auction, etc.
> There has been some pretty sneaky work on designing auctions (a well  
> known one was the scheme used by the UK government when selling the  
> 3G mobile phone spectrum), so there is lots of scope for extending  
> and enhancing the business-process side if anyone wants to do that.
> Anyone who sells anything at auction could use it. Probably payment  
> would be pushed off to paypal, or any other payment mechanism.
> A good solution would support 'live auctions', and keep the bids in  
> sequence.

Stock market are well suited to the buying and selling any classes of 
items which are identitical, eg, equity in a company, futures contracts, 
commodities (beef, gold, etc) and are more common than may you at first 
think. The auction model is more suited to individual and unique items, 
eg. antiques, spectrum blocks, second hand goods, etc. Both are open 
makets though. In the middle is a whole range of markets including the 
one you bought your new fridge in. There's certainly a lot around on the 
theory of designing a good auction just type "auction theory" into your 
favorite search engine or look at wikipedia's page on the subject 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Auction_theory The most common market at a 
guess would be those in the middle either B2B or B2C trying to find a 
plumber, a new desk, or a manufacturer for your new widget. So if your 
shooting for the potential size of audience that's where you'd aim, but 
I think that is also the weakest in that it is ill defined.

I suppose comes down to finding a  topic which highlights Erlangs good 
side, inspires the potential reader to buy the book, motivates the 
reader to try things, and proves valuable as a reference far into the 
future. As such I'd rather any proposed book not be too heavy on the web 
stuff and much more on the infrastructure side of things.

That being said I don't think either the auction or stock market ideas 
are bad and it would be nice to see something less teleco/web industry 
centric discussed in depth.


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