Friday, July 8, 2011

Erlang Misses The Boat

There is much to like about Erlang, especially its great support for concurrency, distributed processing, hot swapping code and the functional programming model. And it's a mature language, even perhaps a bit long in the tooth. As with many languages, the available books are a mixed bag and generally not very inspiring (although often a bit too full of fanboism).

Nevertheless, I persevered with my collection of books on and off over several weeks before starting to think that it was a toss up between Erlang really being too hard to use or me being too thick to get the magic. And then I found What Sucks About Erlang by Damien Katz, somebody who actually uses the language. And I instantly recognized all the gotchas he mentioned as the same things I had been bumping up against. There's no point in repeating Damien's story, just read the original for all you need to know.

So, rather reluctantly in view of the strengths of the language, I decided that for me, for now, Erlang is not the way forward. One of my prime goals in writing software is that it should be enjoyable, and with Erlang and the kind of stuff I have in mind at present, it wouldn't be fun at all.

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