[Freedombox-discuss] Erlang

Matthew Evans mattevans123 at hotmail.com
Wed Jun 22 00:54:48 UTC 2011


Thank you everyone for the comments. Too many to respond to in one go. 

* I know that Erlang certainly runs on Debian, and it at least looks somewhat supported:


* Regarding versioning. The OTP team guarantee that the byte code will be backwards compatable to at least 2 major releases. The major releases are typically once per year, certainly no more and the source code can always be re-compiled. I imagine that placing such a backwards compatibility restriction on any system would be somewhat limiting, although I understand the need to prevent too much software churn. Of course, we can always ensure we lock into a particular release of any software - we don't need to pick up the most current release.

* I definitely don't want to suggest we adopt a particular language for FB development. I am a big proponent of the right tools for job, too often I see businesses go down the path of "language X only", only to later realize they need to jump through hoops to solve the same problem time and time again. The FB team might find Java could be used in some situations, Erlang in others, C/C++ in other situations. What I do know is that Erlang's strengths are in easily developing highly scalable, distributed and fault-tolerant systems - something that FB (at least from a new-comers perspective) needs to meet its goals. 

Areas of possible interest for FB include:

- Inter-node messaging. I suggest looking at RabbitMQ for an example of a messaging system written in Erlang (http://www.rabbitmq.com/).
- Distributed chat systems
- Monitoring systems
- Status reporting
- Distributed web server. Although Apache, NGINX etc are far more common applications for this, once again the ability to automatically host a web server on a remote FB could be a valuable trick.

I am pretty busy at work this week, but if someone can point me to the correct place I'll be more than happy to draw up an official proposal/recommendation.



> To: hartmans at debian.org
> Date: Tue, 21 Jun 2011 16:10:13 -0700
> From: gnu at toad.com
> CC: freedombox-discuss at lists.alioth.debian.org
> Subject: Re: [Freedombox-discuss] Erlang
> It appears that distributed Erlang applications need all parts to be
> running on the same version of the Erlang interpreter, or they fail:
>   http://www.erlang.org/faq/problems.html#id56230
> We can't depend on every FreedomBox to be running the same version of
> the software (or even to be within two versions of each other).
> Erlang looks like it's better for distributed work in tightly
> controlled clusters.  But keep thinking about good tools!
> 	John
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> Freedombox-discuss mailing list
> Freedombox-discuss at lists.alioth.debian.org
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