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pmuellr is Patrick Mueller, Senior Node Engineer at NodeSource.

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Friday, July 13, 2007

erlang meet-up

I went to the first erlounge RDU meet-up tonight to find out more about Erlang. The meet-up was arranged by Kevin Smith, who provided a short presentation.

I had done a little boning up on Erlang last night, so the presentation wasn't completely foreign to me, and I was able to squeeze a few questions in while the S5 presentation took forever to switch slides. Some of those questions:

  • Q: Does Erlang compile to binary, or use bytecodes, or ???

    A: Compile to bytecodes.

  • Q: What's the deployment story for web server code?

    A: Run yaws, a web server written in Erlang. Presumably, you'd be able to proxy to this via Apache, like other stand-alone servers (on a shared host, for instance; TextDrive doesn't currently have it installed, asking about it now).

After doing a bit of reading last night, I came away a little less enthusiastic than when I started. Not sure why. The meet-up re-invigorated me a bit. It's probably time to buy the book. Even if I don't actually do anything with Erlang, it's always nice to see what's going on with other languages, in hopes of maybe transferring some of those ideas, as appropriate, into other work you're doing.

On the negative side, it sounds like the error reporting (compilation and runtime) is fairly nasty. And the doc is largely man pages. And there's no real unicode support. And it's compiled.

It was a good omen to see my old young buddy, and fellow Building-50x-ite Chris Grindstaff at the meet-up. Chris has been yammering on about Ruby for years. Coincidently, the erlounge RDU meet-up group is an off-shoot of the Raleigh-area Ruby Brigade. Hmmm.

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