Monday, March 19, 2007

Erlang Review

After I got a quick look to Erlang, I started to feel a little more curios to this language, and I decided to give it a portion of my readings.
The resources of this language are limited, it is very clear that it is still in the "Early Adopter" phase. I already believe that this language can realize a very good hype very soon. Furthermore, I see it has as many advantages as the Ruby.
I won't talk about the ordinary features which anybody can figure out by himself. What I see the most important point is "Concurrent Programming" in Erlang.
Now, I think of this blog entry as a checkpoint of my digging results in the Erlang World, and not an Erlang Quick Start. this is just an entry to point to the "Erlang Status".

Erlang is a programming language designed for building highly parallel, distributed, fault-tolerant systems. It has been used commercially for many years to build massive fault-tolerant systems which run for years with minimal failures. Erlang combines ideas from the world of functional programming with techniques for building fault-tolerant systems to make a powerful language for building the massively parallel networked applications of the future.
This means that your Erlang program should run X times faster on a X core processor than on a single core processor, without changing a single line in your code. I really appreciate this flexibility. You can use this feature in a very effective way in your application.
I didn't test the Erlang by myself and test its performance, but actually I am very optimistic towards the results, given that the Erlang is heavily used on embedded systems. so, I expect that it has a good performance comparing with other technologies such as Java, Ruby..etc
frankly speaking, I didn't test the Ruby on my PDA. But I expected that the performance won't be pleasant at all. so I decided to save my time for something else. About Java, yes well, I tested it and I am not ready to do it again.
I wondered if anybody used Erlang in web applications!!! The good news I found is that there is a plan to produce a web platform for Erlang. well, there is already a web platform for Erlang but it is not open source and information about it is very limited because it was developed outside of Ericsson.
I think the Erlang consulting and Training Ltd has used an Erlang web platform. which I think a quite impressive start for the Erlang. When I think about Erlang Platform, I think of powerful concurrency handling of heavy loads (It is the Erlang nature, nothing to do with it), and I certainly remember the fault-tolerance embedded with Erlang (built-in ability to upgrade software during runtime without restarting or failure time) which is something missed in most of frameworks dominating the marketplace nowadays. This paper talks in some more details about the status of the Erlang Platform.

I hope you enjoy your Erlang programming.

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