[erlang-questions] Lets build a stock exchange!

Brian Granger ellisonbg.net@REDACTED
Tue Nov 13 17:48:21 CET 2007

> 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.
> It'd have some of the challenges of a stock market, but you'd avoid
> having to provide liquidity to make it useable (I realise your focus
> is a book, but wouldn't you like millions of people to use the
> software?).

These problem domains lack one thing that makes a stock exchange such
an interesting problem - the need for low latency!  Building a large
scale, distributed, fault-tolerant system is one thing - doing it
while maintaining low latency is a whole different ball game.  Showing
that Erlang is well matched to these problems is a huge thing.

> Just a thought,
> G Bulmer
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