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Programming Erlang: Software for a…

Programming Erlang: Software for a Concurrent World

by Joe Armstrong

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For experienced programmers, it's a gem of a language-learning book. Up the learning curve smoothly. ( )
  wrk1 | Jan 15, 2014 |
As of 2009 there are not many alternatives to learn the powerful programming language Erlang and the OTP (Open Telecom Platform). This is THE book written by the designer and implementor of Erlang, Joe Armstrong and he seems to know what he is talking about. High quality humour may not be one of Armstrong's strengths but when it comes to finding attractive examples he shines using his favorite language and platform.

This may not be the perfect book, it has its problems such as promising that some things will be pointed out but the chapter ends without fulfilling it. A few minor frustrations aside the book provides a very good overview of the most important points of Erlang with enough breadth and depth. The chapter where Armstrong talks about a simple server then adding transaction semantics, fault tolerance, hot code swapping, etc. is a kind of tour de force. Another good application is a Shoutcast server implementation in just a few lines of code. It would be very good to compare this example to Peter Seibel's Practical Common Lisp [1].

If you want to learn more about this kind of programming, I'd definitely suggest reading 'Concepts, Techniques, and Models of Computer Programming' [2] which shows the Oz programming language and the Mozart platform and teaches the fundamentals of message-passing concurrency and network-transparent distributed programming.

Finally it must be repeated that Erlang has a very high-quality VM along with mature libraries for concurrency and reliability. If you want to experience industrial-strength distributed and / or multicore applications that scales well then it would be only wise to follow the advice of Joe Armstrong.

Warning: If you are not exposed to Lisp, Prolog, Haskell, Oz, etc. beforehand be careful for a different kind of syntax and semantics. You'll have to unlearn a few concepts to understand the power of new concepts.

1- http://www.gigamonkeys.com/book/
2- http://www.info.ucl.ac.be/~pvr/book.html ( )
  EmreSevinc | Jun 1, 2009 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 193435600X, Paperback)

Erlang solves one of the most pressing problems facing developers today: how to write reliable, concurrent, high-performance systems. It's used worldwide by companies who need to produce reliable, efficient, and scalable applications. Invest in learning Erlang now.

Moore's Law is the observation that the amount you can do on a single chip doubles every two years. But Moore's Law is taking a detour. Rather than producing faster and faster processors, companies such as Intel and AMD are producing multi-core devices: single chips containing two, four, or more processors. If your programs aren't concurrent, they'll only run on a single processor at a time. Your users will think that your code is slow.

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-tolerated systems that run for years with minimal failures.

Erlang programs run seamlessly on multi-core computers: this means your Erlang program should run a lot faster on a 4 core processor than on a single core processor, all without you having to change a line of code.

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 book presents Erlang and functional programming in the familiar Pragmatic style. And it's written by Joe Armstrong, one of the creators of Erlang.

It includes example code you'll be able to build upon. In addition, the book contains the full source code for two interesting applications:

A SHOUTcast server which you can use to stream music to every computer in your house, and a full-text indexing and search engine that can index gigabytes of data.

Learn how to write programs that run on dozens or even hundreds of local and remote processors. See how to write robust applications that run even in the face of network and hardware failure, using the Erlang programming language.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:16 -0400)

Describes how to build parallel, distributed systems using the ERLANG programming language.

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