Monday, April 14, 2008

Concurrency and expressiveness

Damien Katz's article Lisp as Blub has sparked a lively debate on Hacker News on the relative merits of Erlang and other languages for building robust applications. Good points were made on all sides (except for the tired complaints about Erlang syntax -- I have a suspicion that most people who complain about it haven't done much coding in Erlang). Unfortunately, I think that a key point was lost in all the noise: all else being equal, a language with great support for concurrency and fault tolerance has a higher expressive power than a language that doesn't. It just lets you build concurrent applications much more easily (less code, fewer bugs, better scalability, yadda yadda).

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