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Functional Programming with Erlang

For the past 8 weeks in my graduate operating systems course, we’ve been dealing with the issues of inter-process communication in massively parallel situations.  For development of such applications, we’ve been using an operating system called Inferno (of Plan 9 origins) which has a built in language called Limbo.  Limbo is a great language for learning network programming and multi-threaded programming.  It has communication channels which are typed, so you can pass whatever you want along them without pre-processing the data.  However, you still have to manage all of those channels.  It also has a nice C + Pascal style syntax:

message := “Hello World!”;
sys->print(“%s\n”, message);

While discussing languages that support massive concurrency with my professor, the subject of functional programming came up.  I mentioned to him that I wanted to learn a functional language, but wasn’t sure where to start.  He suggested Erlang due to it’s easy support for massive concurrency.  My question to my readers (if I have any left), is do you have any experience with programming multi-threaded and/or distributed programs with Erlang?  Is it worth the time to learn, or would my efforts be better off elsewhere?

By Jack Slingerland

Founder of Kernl.us. Working and living in Raleigh, NC. I manage a team of software engineers and wrk in Python, Django, TypeScript, Node.js, React+Redux, Angular, and PHP. I enjoy hanging out with my wife and son, lifting weights, and advancing Kernl.us in my free time.