[erlang-questions] Re: What about making sense?

Steve Davis steven.charles.davis@REDACTED
Sat Feb 20 14:44:49 CET 2010

Hi Michael,

I certainly respect your position, and as with many such discussions, I 
can only give my own experience.

I do remember reasonably clearly being a newb. Actually, it wasn't that 
long ago (2008)! I remember starting by reading the Getting started 
section, and then going through the Erlang reference manual and 
programming examples. I also remember having to re-read a good deal of 
the OTP stuff before I truly "got it".

When I started with C, many years ago, I managed to get by with two 
additional books. When I started with Java (even in the era of Java 1.1) 
I was forced to read about 20+ additional (and highly verbose) books 
beyond the documentation. When I started with Erlang, it found it 
sufficient to buy just one book (Joe's book) in addition to the docs - 
and the docs remain my primary reference.

I am not saying there is no room for improvement in the docs; for 
example, finding something quickly can indeed be a pain (though 
frequently, it is not). When you do find what you need the manner in 
which it is written is almost always highly concise and accurate (though 
not always). The flaws in the docs currently are really more at the 
level of inconvenience than fatal flaws.

It is certainly possible that I really have "lost touch", or that I'm 
just comparing the pain of Java-world to the relief of learning/using 
Erlang. But that's not my call to make.

One enormous benefit of Erlang/OTP as a platform for me is that it 
covers so much (not all!) of the functional space requirements we face 
as application developers without any required reliance on third party 
software (and having to read/cope with all the documentation you need 
for those also).

Best regards,

Michael Richter wrote:
> I respectfully disagree.  I humbly submit further that you are not doing 
> what I suggested by looking at the existing docs with a newb's eyes.

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