[erlang-questions] Potion: was "Erlang for youngsters"

Mon Aug 11 02:08:05 CEST 2014

> We do Potion which is a new language on the BEAM+OTP with a Lua inspired
> syntax instead. This would have many benefits:
> - It would make it much easier for a large group of programmers to get
> into
> the erlang fold.

Where is the evidence for this?

If Luerl didn't achieve it, why would Potion?

> - The syntax would be simpler that elixir and would avoid some of its
> idiosyncrasies.

> - Lua is a fun language to start with.

Did you ever have the feeling that when you got up in the morning
you stepped into the wrong parallel universe?
I've had Lua on my Macs for years.
About once a year I stumble across it by accident while searching
for something else, and say "oh YEAH, I forgot about that, time to
put it to use."  I then download the latest release, re-read the
manual, wake up, finish re-reading the manual, and when I've
stopped yawning, go and do something more enjoyable, like marking
or cleaning the bathroom.

As far as I can see, the two virtues of Lua are

(1) Lua the *language* is a small ho-hum language with a
    small embeddable implementation that you can easily hook
    into and use as an extension language.  That's presumably
    why LuaTeX exists.

(2) Lua the *system* comes with things like luarocks and a
    useful library of user-contributed extensions like i18n.
    This is the bit I personally find attractive, or would
    if I couldn't get the things I want in other languages.

A language that is only Lua-*like* sacrifices pretty much all
of (2), which is to say sacrifices most of the reason why I
would ever consider using Lua for anything.

Perhaps the most ho-hum aspect of Lua is its heavy dependence
on mutable state, making error handling the familiar terror it
was before Erlang.

It might not be unfair to describe Lua as a small Javascript
done right and luarocks as npm.  If the same engineering work
of making Javascript less of a dog had been put into Lua...

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