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Introduction to programming in Erlang (developerWorks)

There is an introduction to the Erlang programming language (the first part in a series) on the developerWorks site. "Erlang provides a number of standard features not found in or difficult to manage in other languages. Much of this functionality exists in Erlang because of it's telecom roots. For example, Erlang includes a very simple concurrency model, allowing individual blocks of code to be executed multiple times on the same host with relative ease. In addition to this concurrency Erlang uses an error model that allows failures within these processes to be identified and handled, even by a new process, which makes building highly fault tolerant applications very easy. Finally, Erlang includes built-in distributed processing, allowing components to be run on one machine while being requested from another."
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Not much to see here, wait for part 2 ?

Posted May 11, 2011 18:44 UTC (Wed) by moltonel (subscriber, #45207) [Link]

Rather boring grammar stuff. The main difference between Erlang and $OTHER_LANGUAGE would be the functional programming style ? That's very superficial.

On the grammar side, I'd have liked more discussion on Erlang's pattern matching (since that's one thing that is actually different from other languages), and funs would have at least deserved a mention. But the architechture is what's really interesting with erlang; the error handling and the distributed concureny are what really sets erlang appart, and make it worth your while. I guess I'll wait port part 2 of the article.

Introduction to programming in Erlang (developerWorks)

Posted May 11, 2011 22:02 UTC (Wed) by AndyBurns (guest, #27521) [Link]

Sorry, can't resist ...

http://youtu.be/uKfKtXYLG78

Introduction to programming in Erlang (developerWorks)

Posted May 14, 2011 13:50 UTC (Sat) by MisterIO (guest, #36192) [Link]

The problem with these languages is that they're used by a few people, so it's harder to find good libraries to do what I'd need to do, it's harder to get peer reviews, to get patches to correct bugs, it's harder to interact with pre-existing code. To that, you should add that this language is functional, so it doesn't directly map to how people think(at least that's true for most people). Erland is not certainly new, it's been there at least since 1993 and yet it's still used by very few people(in tiobe it's currently at pos. 49!).
When Go implements generics, that will be the next language I'm gonna try.

Introduction to programming in Erlang (developerWorks)

Posted May 14, 2011 16:22 UTC (Sat) by mathstuf (subscriber, #69389) [Link]

> To that, you should add that this language is functional, so it doesn't directly map to how people think(at least that's true for most people).

To be fair, for those who learned functional languages first, imperative languages probably don't directly map to how they think (with code at the least). I started with TI-BASIC and C, so I don't have first-hand knowledge here.

Introduction to programming in Erlang (developerWorks)

Posted May 14, 2011 16:43 UTC (Sat) by MisterIO (guest, #36192) [Link]

I doubt that's true. In general people can quite easily understand what's a cycle and how to implement it, but usually they take some time to get accustomed to the concept of recursion and in particular to its corner cases. I think that imperative languages are the most widespread not because they're the ones that are taught more often, instead they are taught more often because they're the easiest to wrap your mind around.

Introduction to programming in Erlang (developerWorks)

Posted May 15, 2011 8:04 UTC (Sun) by jezuch (subscriber, #52988) [Link]

I'm sceptical as well. When you're taught maths, it's all declarative, functional and symbolic. Maybe that's why so many people hate maths, but at least for mathematicians this is how they think; otherwise all of maths, all the way from Archimedes, would be algorithmic and imperative as well. My opinion is that imperative programming is dominant because it was easier to implement in hardware. But it's just a non-expert's opinion ;)

Introduction to programming in Erlang (developerWorks)

Posted May 16, 2011 15:19 UTC (Mon) by marcH (subscriber, #57642) [Link]

Imperative programming *is* hardware! Functional programming is maths. Guess which one makes it easier to write bugs.


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