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Erlang's Creator Speaks About Its History and Prospects 48

Seal writes "Erlang, originally created at Ericsson in 1986, is a functional programming language which was released as open source around 10 years ago and flourished ever since. In this Q&A, Erlang creator Joe Armstrong talks about its beginnings as a control program for a telephone exchange, its flexibility and its modern day usage in open source programs. 'In the Erlang world we have over twenty years of experience with designing and implementing parallel algorithms. What we lose in sequential processing speed we win back in parallel performance and fault-tolerance,' Armstrong said. He also mentions how multi-core processors pushed the development of Erlang and the advantages of hot swapping."

Comment The stack is just taller (Score 1) 731

The main thing that has changed over the years is that the software stack has grown deeper, and today there are many more people working at higher abstraction levels where a lot is handled for them.

But under the covers, little has changed. Someone must write and understand code all the way down to the hardware. You can bet that people writing kernels and drivers think a lot about space and speed. Or write some code for one of the low cost micro-controllers that are in virtually all electronic devices and you won't have the luxury of a large software stack.

There are very likely *more* people writing low level code today than 20 years ago. Only the percentage of programmers writing low level code is declining because there are many orders of magnitude more programmers writing higher level code.

Comment The D is product development (Score 1) 580

TFA seems to get the distinction, but /.ers should note that at software companies like MS the D part of R&D is everyday product development which is always ongoing. So at MS R&D will always be a major part of overall expenses. The article argues that MS isn't getting enough return from total R&D spending (which includes product development). People here just need to remember that R&D does not equate to just the R (research) part.

Make it right before you make it faster.