[erlang-questions] Erlang Syntax - again

Paul Mineiro paul-trapexit@REDACTED
Wed Mar 12 06:07:55 CET 2008

Re: syntax vs. semantics, from someone who recently learned the language.

I got the semantics.  It's why I pushed through the warts in the syntax;
and coming from Haskell, there were alot of things that were not as nice.
Most of them have already been mentioned, no need to rehash.

Now I'm used to it, and in 3 months our little startup has a cloud
computing infrastructure that I only dreamed about at my large company
job, and we never go down thanks to hot code deployment.  So Erlang does
not suck.  However I hope it does not rest on its laurels either.  Good
syntax makes life more pleasant.

-- p

On Wed, 12 Mar 2008, Robert Virding wrote:

> Very few of the misfeatures of Erlang syntax are new, though this doesn't
> make them less important. Some are be fixable.
> I was probably a little unclear but I was interested in the question of a
> whole new syntax, which at least Ulf understood. And the follow-up question
> of whether this would satisfy people?
> For example assume we did a new flavour of Erlang based on Java which had
> the look of Java but still had Erlang semantics (it couldn't be otherwise).
> Would this make new users who came from more traditional languages happy? Or
> would it just make it worse in that it might look the same as what they are
> used to (sort of) but there would still be no "real" assignments or
> destructive operations or loops etc ?
> I suppose the question really gets back to where the *real* problem is. Is
> it really the syntax, or is it actually the semantics but people see it a
> syntax problem because that is what they see first, the syntax? If a new
> syntax really solved new users problems then it might be worth doing,
> otherwise not. What do people think?
> One benefit on basing a new syntax on a typed language would be that adding
> (optional) type declarations would still look "right". Typing records just
> looks weird to me. :-)
> Robert

Optimism is an essential ingredient of innovation. How else can the
individual favor change over security?

  -- Robert Noyce

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