The Top Ten Erlang News Stories of 2008

It goes without saying that 2008 was a difficult year for many, with 2009 looking to be more of the same. But for the Erlang community, it was probably the best year since Joe Armstrong released Programming Erlang. OK, that was 2007… still, it’s a great time to use Erlang. Here are the top ten Erlang related events of 2008, from ‘smallest’ to ‘biggest’. This is my subjective ranking with a focus on the trends that will introduce the most number of developers to the power of Erlang in 2009.

10. Erlang jobs more than quadrupled in the UK last year, according to IT Jobs Watch. I believe similar results in the US but don’t (yet) have the data to prove it.

9. Sites like recognize that languages like Erlang and Haskell are being talked about more than they’re being used (so far). For instance, Erlang has passed C# and Visual Basic in discussion frequency and sites such as SD Times cover more stories on Erlang.

8. In the Top-Ten Self Promotion Department, Erlang Inside releases and tries to fill the gap in Erlang-related news sites.

7. Amazon uses more Erlang with its SimpleDB release. OK, this was in beta in 2007 but not officially released until 2008.

6. Pragmatic Programmers release a set of brilliant Erlang Screencasts.

5. Reia is released in alpha, and provides a scripting language with the power of the Erlang runtime and VM, as covered in this exclusive Erlang Inside interview.

4. RabbitMQ – see this Google Talk about RabbitMQ.

3. As for Nitrogen Web Framework for Erlang, which we covered earlier this year, Rusty has come a long way recently with a great looking website including screencasts showing the power of the framework.

2. CouchDB became the schema-less DB of choice for a growing number of users, was inducted into the Apache Incubator, and everyone starts discussions about it with “Did you know it was written in Erlang?”.

1. And finally… Facebook launches chat to 70 Million Users… All At Once. Using Erlang. I can’t think of a better advertisement for the power of Erlang (outside of the Telco space) than the successful release of this feature.

Thoughts on this list? Missed something big? Add other ideas in the comments…

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