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Erlang and OTP in Action Paperback – December 8, 2010

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 500 pages
  • Publisher: Manning Publications; 1 edition (December 8, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1933988789
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933988788
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.9 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #435,214 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Martin Logan is a leading Erlang developer, a frequent conference presenter, and the primary developer of the Faxien OTP/Erlang package management system.Currently he works for Orbitz Worldwide, developing solutions for their large scale distributed service-based infrastructure. Richard Carlsson was an original member of the High-Performance Erlang groupat Uppsala University, and has contributed to many parts of the standard libraries, the Erlang compiler, runtime system, and the language itself. Eric Merrit specializes in concurrent languages and distributed systems. He’s a core developer for the Erlware family of open-source products.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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See all 18 customer reviews
This is a very good book and is very well written.
I thought the same but this book takes a different approach in the way Erlang is presented with more emphasis on OTP and application design.
I would recommend this book for Erlang coders of all experience levels.
Richard J. Wagner

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Bookish, Mild and Meek on December 19, 2010
Format: Paperback
I fell in love with this book after reading about half of it and previewing the rest.

Erlang is quite radically different from O-O/Imperative languages such as C# and Java, and I expected a steep learning curve, when I started reading Joe Armstrong's book Programming Erlang: Software for a Concurrent World. It is overall a good book, but some parts of Joe's book were not very clear to me even in the earlier several chapters, so I also got the O'Reilly Erlang book Erlang Programming. It was a bit of an easier read, but I still had some issues. [[And all this despite some background from graduate school in the late 80s and early 90s in the underlying CompSci topics such as Unification and Deductive Databases, Functional Programming, Lambda Calculus, Gul Agha's Actors Concurrent programming and Distributed Databases]]. In particular, the OTP coverage in the last 2 books left me a bit perplexed. Then I got this, Logan et al's book, and started from the first chapter, and I must say I admire the authors' ability to serve up concise yet clear explanations with a more practical tone and real world examples. Now all makes sense, both OTP and Erlang, in just a few days! Chapter 2 was a quick but great introduction to Erlang programming. And the OTP and tool introduction chapters have been even better. This is the book to get if you intend to use Erlang for real-world production applications as opposed to a passing 'academic interest'.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Richard J. Wagner on December 4, 2010
Format: Paperback
An excellent book on Erlang, with an emphasis on writing production-worthy code.

The book is divided into 3 sections, as follows:
1) Erlang and OTP basics.
2) Building a production Erlang application.
3) Integration and tuning.

Section one covers basics of Erling and the OTP framework. Material is presented in a format suitable for beginners, with plenty of simple diagrams every couple of pages to illustrate key concepts. OTP in particular is covered in great detail, something intermediate-and-above users will appreciate. Section one alone would be a good Erlang book, but there is much more.

Section two built upon an application-building scenario. The scenario is a web application that's suffering from poor performance, so Erlang is used to build a caching mechanism. Erlang is strong on networking, so the reader builds everything needed from the bottom up. This section adds much value, as there is a pointed difference between knowing language syntax and knowing best practices in writing an application. (This book gives you the best practices as well as the language basics.) The chapters in this part of the book usually start by describing some desired functionality, then explaining how Erlang can provide that functionality, then finally going step-by-step through implementing the change. It reads like an in-depth tutorial.

Section three is about integrating your Erlang application with external entities. Integration-by-messaging is covered via JSON, while deeper integration needs are explained as Erlang's language integration mechanisms are explained. One notable point: JInterface, the Erlang-Java interface, is given a whole chapter (other Erlang books give this topic very little coverage in comparison.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By MrC on February 11, 2011
Format: Paperback
"Erlang and OTP in Action" is not a repeat of the existing introductory books on the Erlang language, although there is a brief introduction to the language in Chapter 2. This book continues where other books leave off. If you are just learning Erlang, this book is probably not the best place to start, however it is an excellent reference for more advanced topics.

"Erlang and OTP In Action" is divided into 3 major sections. Each chapter builds on the examples and concepts from the previous chapters working towards getting your server live and robust.

I. Getting Past Pure Erlang: The OTP Basics

This section helps to clarify the distinction between Erlang and OTP. There is only brief coverage of the Erlang language and syntax, as there are other resources which cover this in much greater depth. The reader is exposed to some of the many modules and functions which make up OTP.

Early in the book you are shown how to write a RPC server as well as some basics on writing unit tests for that server. While this is advanced material, the flow and delivery are easy enough to understand to someone with minimal exposure to Erlang. Process supervision, caching, distributed Erlang, and Packaging are also covered in a similar manner of clarity.

II. Building a Production System

The second section starts off by creating a local cache for a web server in order to remedy a website which has become sluggish as the system grew. This is a real-life problem and solution, not a contrived example which are present in so many other books.

The remainder of this section goes into distributed Erlang which is quite an exciting topic.
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