- Paperback: 498 pages
- Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (June 29, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0596518188
- ISBN-13: 978-0596518189
- Product Dimensions: 7 x 1.1 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 32 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #813,481 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Erlang Programming: A Concurrent Approach to Software Development 1st Edition
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About the Author
In 1999, soon after Erlang was released as open source, he founded Erlang Solutions. With offices in the UK, Sweden, Poland (and soon the US), they have become the world leaders in Erlang based consulting, contracting, training, systems development, support services and conferences. At Erlang Solutions, Francesco has worked on major Erlang based projects both within and outside Ericsson, and in his current role as Technical Director, is setting the strategy and vision of the company while supervising the technical teams.
Francesco is active in the Erlang community not only through regularly talks, seminars and tutorials at conferences worldwide, but also through his involvement in international research projects. With whatever time he has left over, he teaches Erlang to graduates and undergraduates at Oxford University and the IT University of Gothenburg. You can follow his ramblings (mainly on Erlang and Erlang Solutions) on twitter.
Top customer reviews
I've only just started with Erlang and am enjoying it quite a bit - other than wondering if this is another one of those flash-in-the-pan languages. Even if Erlang is not long lived, I think that something like Erlang is where computing is destined to go. The reason being that even our supercomputers seem to have moved away from big iron and into the cluster world. Erlang fits onto clusters more naturally than anything I've yet experienced and that includes MPI and PVM. The reason is that Erlang provides the infrastructure for running an awe inspiring number of "processes" in a multi-machine environment. Or on one machine if that's your preference. Process is in quote marks above because each process runs in an erlang VM instead of as a process/thread in the operating system.
The thing that really amazes me about Erlang is how easy it is to design and build stuff that is fault tolerant and that scales unbelievably. It really is beautiful. I'm kinda wondering if Erlang is the destined to be the "glue language" for clusters.
As for direct usefulness of the book... I've read chapters: 1 Intro; 2 Erlang Basics; 3 Sequential Erlang; 4 Concurrent Programming; and 11 Distributed Programming. In that order. It was a few hours of reading and fiddling around and now I'm somewhat dangerously able to use the language for what I want. Gotta read those other chapters though.
So, why read the chapters? It's because the writing is honest and applicable. Kind of like the bit in Chapter 2 (I think) where the author says you should mess around with something error prone in the shell now because the next time it'll be buried deep in some module and be difficult to isolate. Now that's practical. I bet that OTP chapter will keep me from reinventing some wheels too.
The days of using one programming language are behind us, yes it use to be C, then C++, then Java, but the age of Domain Specific Languages is upon us. So what Domain does Erlang help us with? Well Erlang powers Facebook Chat servicing 1 Billion messages per day, it powers Jabber one of the top Instant Messaging protocols and it boasts some of the most highly available systems in the world. We are using it for several of the key messaging components in our Video on Demand platform, if you have a cable set top box and Video on Demand you might be using Erlang ;) It is absolutely excellent for highly concurrent networked systems.
Functional programming is something of a mind warp, it's hard to learn when coming from a procedural language background like most of us (C/C++/Java developers) but it's well worth spending the time to add Erlang to your tool kit. By reading this book, Joe's book and watching the Erlang Videos from Pragmatic Programmers I was able to start developing Erlang Applications. After that I would recommend looking at the source code for things like Mochiweb, RabbitMQ, Riak, etc to see how the masters do it.
I would also learn a Object Oriented Scripting language like Ruby (1st choice) or Python (2nd choice), with one of these languages and Erlang under your belt you will be able to develop Enterprise applications with ease. Then you can stop battling J2EE Containers, JPA, EJB, etc and get some real work done!
Erlang is different, and without a good source of information about, it could be very hard to understand; this is why I choose "Erlang Programming". In fact this book is born from 2 persons that well know the argument, and are familiar with its explanation.
Francesco Cesarini uses it from about 1994 when he was studying at Uppsala University, and he is the founder of the leading company about Erlang in the world today and most of all, he is very very active in the Erlang Community.
Simon Thompson is a professor at Kent University and he has taught Logic and Computation for about twenty years, writing some other books, and leading his team in the developement of Wrangler, a refactoring tool for Erlang.
Erlang Programming will guide you in every Erlang aspects, giving you some good advices on how to design systems in the right way so that you will be able to use Erlang's key features to get the best from them.
I'm on chapter three cause of reading when I have spare time. This book is great and very in depth. If you don't understand it one way, there generally is more than one way to get it your brain. Much easier than I expected.