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Programming Erlang: Software for a Concurrent World

by Joe Armstrong

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395556,871 (3.97)1
A multi-user game, web site, cloud application, or networked database can have thousands of users all interacting at the same time. You need a powerful, industrial-strength tool to handle the really hard problems inherent in parallel, concurrent environments. You need Erlang. In this second edition of the bestselling Programming Erlang, you'll learn how to write parallel programs that scale effortlessly on multicore systems. Using Erlang, you'll be surprised at how easy it becomes to deal with parallel problems, and how much faster and more efficiently your programs run. That's because Erlang uses sets of parallel processes-not a single sequential process, as found in most programming languages. Joe Armstrong, creator of Erlang, introduces this powerful language in small steps, giving you a complete overview of Erlang and how to use it in common scenarios. You'll start with sequential programming, move to parallel programming and handling errors in parallel programs, and learn to work confidently with distributed programming and the standard Erlang/Open Telecom Platform (OTP) frameworks. You need no previous knowledge of functional or parallel programming. The chapters are packed with hands-on, real-world tutorial examples and insider tips and advice, and finish with exercises for both beginning and advanced users. The second edition has been extensively rewritten. New to this edition are seven chapters covering the latest Erlang features: maps, the type system and the Dialyzer, WebSockets, programming idioms, and a new stand-alone execution environment. You'll write programs that dynamically detect and correct errors, and that can be upgraded without stopping the system. There's also coverage of rebar (the de facto Erlang build system), and information on how to share and use Erlang projects on github, illustrated with examples from cowboy and bitcask. Erlang will change your view of the world, and of how you program. What You Need The Erlang/OTP system. Download it from erlang.org.… (more)
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Showing 4 of 4
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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A multi-user game, web site, cloud application, or networked database can have thousands of users all interacting at the same time. You need a powerful, industrial-strength tool to handle the really hard problems inherent in parallel, concurrent environments. You need Erlang. In this second edition of the bestselling Programming Erlang, you'll learn how to write parallel programs that scale effortlessly on multicore systems. Using Erlang, you'll be surprised at how easy it becomes to deal with parallel problems, and how much faster and more efficiently your programs run. That's because Erlang uses sets of parallel processes-not a single sequential process, as found in most programming languages. Joe Armstrong, creator of Erlang, introduces this powerful language in small steps, giving you a complete overview of Erlang and how to use it in common scenarios. You'll start with sequential programming, move to parallel programming and handling errors in parallel programs, and learn to work confidently with distributed programming and the standard Erlang/Open Telecom Platform (OTP) frameworks. You need no previous knowledge of functional or parallel programming. The chapters are packed with hands-on, real-world tutorial examples and insider tips and advice, and finish with exercises for both beginning and advanced users. The second edition has been extensively rewritten. New to this edition are seven chapters covering the latest Erlang features: maps, the type system and the Dialyzer, WebSockets, programming idioms, and a new stand-alone execution environment. You'll write programs that dynamically detect and correct errors, and that can be upgraded without stopping the system. There's also coverage of rebar (the de facto Erlang build system), and information on how to share and use Erlang projects on github, illustrated with examples from cowboy and bitcask. Erlang will change your view of the world, and of how you program. What You Need The Erlang/OTP system. Download it from erlang.org.

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