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Evan Miller: Why Program in Erlang?

Now, now, I know you don’t need any more convincing, but this piece by Evan Miller may still be worth the read.

Erlang is the culmination of twenty-five years of correct design decisions in the language and platform,” says Miller.Whenever I've wondered about how something in Erlang works, I have never been disappointed in the answer.”

The beauty of Erlang’s design, of course, is in contrast to Java’s “pendantic thing”, Perl’s “kludgy thing,” Ruby’s double “implementations of the wrong thing”, and C’s nothing. To realize Miller is right, all you have to do is take a look at Erlang’s garbage collection, string concatenation, and the transparency of its data structures.

But, even Miller admits, Erlang is not a perfect language. Its syntax is strange, it lacks libraries, and it can be slow. And what is good about it is “back-loaded”; that is to say, it’s only after many years of programming experience that you may understand the beauty of its design.

But the trade-off has proven itself worthwhile. To date, Miller has spent “well over a thousand hours” programming in Erlang, and it doesn’t look like he’ll be giving it up any time soon.

Read Miller’s article in full here.

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