[erlang-questions] Erlang first appeared year

Richard Carlsson carlsson.richard@REDACTED
Wed Jun 20 12:41:18 CEST 2018

Yes, 1986 is a misleading date, because that is only when experimentation
started. A better date would be late 1988 or 1989-1990, or even 1992-1993
depending on your point of reference.
Quoting from Joe Armstrong's paper 'A History of Erlang':
 - "By the end of 1988, most of the ideas in Erlang had stabilized."
 - "1989 also provided us with one of our first opportunities to present
Erlang to the world outside Ericsson. This was when we presented a paper at
the SETSS conference in Bournemouth."
 - "Later in the year, in December 1989, this resulted in Bjarne, Mike,
Robert and me visiting Bellcore, where we gave our first ever external
Erlang lecture."

But it was still only a very bare-bones Erlang back then, and it was
implemented on top of Prolog, and had no real commercial use yet, only
experimental within Ericsson.
The first efficient implementation, the JAM abstract machine, was created
in 1990.
 - "One of the high points of 1990 was ISS’90 (International Switching
Symposium), held in Stockholm. ISS’90 was the first occasion where we
actively tried to market Erlang."
 - "In 1992, we got permission to publish a book and it was decided to
commercialize Erlang. A contract was signed with Prentice Hall and the
first Erlang book appeared in the bookshops in May 1993."

So we can definitely say that by 1993, Erlang was a full, stable real world
language with a reliable and efficient implementation and publicly
available documentation.

For comparison, C++ experimentation started in 1979 and the first book was
published in 1985, while Perl was developed 1987-1991, Python started in
1989, Ruby was created in 1995-1996, and Java was developed in 1991-1996.
Erlang is not "old".


2018-06-20 11:33 GMT+02:00 Dmitry Klionsky <dm.klionsky@REDACTED>:

> Hi all,
> Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erlang_(programming_language)
> states that Erlang
> first appeared in 1986, which makes it "old" comparing to Java (1995) and
> C# (2000).
> The other day a manager said that some C++ devs mentioned that Erlang is
> "an old language".
> I replied that C++, which first appeared in 1985, is even older.
> Today I was reading http://blog.erlang.org/beam-compiler-history/ and
> realized that the year
> 1986 is misleading.
> It seems to me, that both Java and C++ have their first public releases as
> first appeared years
> and NOT when their design was started. They both have history sections
> mentioning that work on
> them was started long before.
> Shouldn't we consider OTP R1B in 1996 to be the first release?
> This will make Erlang is younger than Java!
> I don't propose to cheat, I propose to play the fair game.
> Thank you
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