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Erlang Open Internet Platform

Sean Hinde-2
All,

I have seen many comments in articles and even on the mailing list which
take the position that Erlang/OTP is only of interest if you need to write
telephone switch software. I wonder if takeup would be wider if the product
were re-invented and renamed as an internet development platform?

Just a passing thought..

- Sean



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Erlang Open Internet Platform

Vance Shipley-2
Sean Hinde writes:
> I have seen many comments in articles and even on the mailing list which
> take the position that Erlang/OTP is only of interest if you need to write
> telephone switch software. ...

Hmmm... I originally found Erlang 4-5 years ago when I was researching
Finite State Machines and multi-threading.  My original impression was
that it was a user land package for implementing threads.  Pretty far off
I guess but back then there wasn't as much information available outside
of Ericsson.

My impression from the list has been that most people are in fact using
Erlang for the language as opposed to the OTP environment.  People are
interested in the power of the language.  Many people are interested in
Mnesia it seems but not much is said about OTP.  I had the thought a
while back that we might want to have separate mailing lists for Erlang
and OTP.

> I wonder if takeup would be wider if the product were re-invented and
> renamed as an internet development platform?

The first thing that springs to mind is the past criticism of string
handling in Erlang.  That seemed to be a concern to those evaluating
Erlang/OTP as a platform for web servers.

        -Vance



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Erlang Open Internet Platform

Mickael Remond-2
On Thu, 15 Feb 2001, Vance Shipley wrote:
>
> My impression from the list has been that most people are in fact using
> Erlang for the language as opposed to the OTP environment.  People are
> interested in the power of the language.  Many people are interested in
> Mnesia it seems but not much is said about OTP.  I had the thought a
> while back that we might want to have separate mailing lists for Erlang
> and OTP.
>

In fact, OTP is a very difficult part of the Erlang langage compared to the
core langage model. You need a certain experience in Erlang development before
realizing that you can do really neat thing when you master the OTP stuff.

My opinion is that mixing the two aspects together can help people digging
into the OTP part.
A lot of "advertised" feature of the langage are only fully accesible when you
master behaviour.

I had the chance to convince my company to invite an Erlang consultant
(Francesco Cesarini) to teach us OTP and I must say that the result is pretty
impressive. The quality of your code greatly improve when you start
architecturing your process in a supervision tree for example.

>> I wonder if takeup would be wider if the product were re-invented and
>> renamed as an internet development platform?
>
> The first thing that springs to mind is the past criticism of string
> handling in Erlang.  That seemed to be a concern to those evaluating
> Erlang/OTP as a platform for web servers.

In fact, not only for developping Web server, but all kind of internet
applications.
It seems that XML is going to leak every as a formal syntax to express various
grammar. The spread of XML is a factor that make be believe that we need to
create a specific string type (XML is a tree data structure, but most often
represented as a string, that you need to manipulate).

This was what my previous message was about in fact, and maybe we could help
on this specific topic.

Regards,

--
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Erlang Open Internet Platform

Chris Pressey
In reply to this post by Sean Hinde-2
Sean Hinde wrote:
> All,
> I have seen many comments in articles and even on the mailing list which
> take the position that Erlang/OTP is only of interest if you need to write
> telephone switch software. I wonder if takeup would be wider if the product
> were re-invented and renamed as an internet development platform?

OTP = Open Telecom Platform.  Telecom = Telecommunications =
communicating over a remote distance.  In what way is the Internet not a
form of telecommunications...?  ;-)

Also, there is so much hype around "internet solutions" these days; I
was attracted to Erlang partly because it seems to be able to avoid that
stigma by being more general than just that.

I feel that Erlang should demonstrate to the world its strengths in an
internet setting, by showing off applications such as the Wikie.  If it
can "walk the walk", it doesn't really matter how it's marketed.

_chris

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Erlang Open Internet Platform

Michael Williams
In reply to this post by Sean Hinde-2
In article <402DD461F109D411977E0008C791C312039F5D95>,
 Sean.Hinde (Sean Hinde) writes:
|> I have seen many comments in articles and even on the mailing list which
|> take the position that Erlang/OTP is only of interest if you need to write
|> telephone switch software. I wonder if takeup would be wider if the product
|> were re-invented and renamed as an internet development platform?

I think there are two ways a programming language (and its runtime
environment) becomes popular.

1) It solves a number of useful problems in an easy and time saving way

2) It is hyped hugely by some powerful player.

Java, Ada, C++ (SUN, DoD, AT&T) are examples of way 2.

FORTRAN, C, Perl (Formula Translation, HW near programming, Much
better Scripting Language) are examples of way 1.

Getting Erlang more widely spread is a 1) task. Ericsson is a very
major player in the Telecoms marketplace, but not in the general
computing field. But I hope you all agree that Erlang makes
distributed, concurrent programming (so call Internet Programming)
much easier.

In this light, the "telecoms" background of Erlang works like a
life-jacket made of lead. However we see that the number of hits
on the Erlang.org site is steadily increasing. As more and more people
find uses for Erlang in many different field, the lead in the life-jacket
is becoming significantly less heavy.

/Mike


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Matthias Lang-2
Mike Williams writes:

 > 2) It is hyped hugely by some powerful player.
 >
 > Java, Ada, C++ (SUN, DoD, AT&T) are examples of way 2.

I think the hype around C++ came from the compiler vendors (Borland
and Microsoft) who essentially gave away C++ compilers with their C
compilers. Supposedly ("Design and Evolution of C++") AT&T allocated
almost no resources. Maybe C++'s success relies more on people wanting
to feel that they were engaged in a more "structured and worthy" form
of programming without giving up any of the things they could do in C.

Matthias


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