Ravi Mohan's Blog

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Erlang is the new Ruby

There is a particular type of programmer who tries to keep up with the "coolness" crowd by jumping on to the latest bandwagons and hanging on for dear life (till it is time to jump again). The word "fanboy" doesn't quite describe these folks but it gets some of the nuances right. The key characteristic is that they talk a lot about what essentially they don't really understand.

For a while , the fad was ruby. "Ooooh look we can use select instead of a loop" "Oooh everything is an object". Then it was creating half baked "DSL"s, especially in the context of Rails.

Now Ruby seems to be losing some of its sheen, and the lemmings are migrating to Erlang. Now, Erlang is a very powerful language that is worth studying and it has been around for the last twenty years or so, but the next time I meet someone "evangelizing" Erlang, without the faintest idea of how functional programming, pattern matching or concurrency really works, I am going to do something nasty.

Don't get me wrong. Erlang is well worth studying. But first write a 10,000 line+ non trivial program in it. Create an open source library or two. Submit a few patches. Then try to convert the heathen. But I guess if you were to do that you wouldn't be a fanboy anymore.

Ahhh. Choices.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ravi,
Do you have x-ray vision?
A few days ago the local company idjit gave a talk on Erlang, complete with the "bouncing ball" demo. As far I could see you were not in the crowd, but you've captured the "blind leading the blind" feel of the meeting perfectly.

Keep writing! I laughed out loud reading this and my coworkers glanced over to see what was wrong. Time to look serious and pretend to work.
later,

Anonymous said...

"...but the next time I meet someone "evangelizing" Erlang, without the faintest idea of how functional programming, pattern matching or concurrency really works, I am going to do something nasty."

This would be probably work :) Get one of those rubber bathroom slippers.. Wet it. And slap it hard on the guys thigh !!

Works most of the time :)

Anonymous said...

slippers ? get the nearest chair and bring it down on his damn fool head! I'm sick of seeing these incompetents strut around spouting garbage (I was at the presentation the first "anonymous" referred to. It sucked big time)

Anonymous said...

he he :) that was funny :)

this is the way i handle them ....

me : so what is x ?

fart : ho its so, so and so... (introduction from the latest text on the subject ...)

me : cool, so how did you use it ?

fart : hey, ive got a meeting to attend ... talk to you later ...

me : a'right bye... let's meet over coffee some time to talk over this ...

fart : yea sure ...

He'll always have a meeting to attend when he see's you then on ...

Anonymous said...

click click ...

ahooo ... my friend ...

i see you are still busy making your point on the general state of the indian outsourcing industry...

give it up my friend ...

evil always triumphs !

get on with the stuff that matters !

im still looking forward to that reading list of yours ...

take care my friend ...

click .. click ...