Saturday, March 03, 2007

An Erlang Project

I figured that I am maintaining a focus on a particular language and am going to progress in a particular project for my computer science degree, I might as well use this space to discuss Erlang more and what I am doing in it.

What I am focusing on, for my final-year project is a study of the use of Erlang in the context of web applications. I am evaluating what interesting things that are in Erlang that can be utilized in the context of web programming. For example, is the language robust enough for general web programming? Or, where can we benefit, either directly or indirectly from Erlang's concurrency model?

I am writing two small applications for this. The first is a semi-re-implementation of the Java Pet Store example. The second is a simple instant message server. Both intend to demonstrate the use, for example, of higher-order programming in the context of a real example. In the second example, I hope to demonstrate the usefulness of Erlang as a very good concurrent language with its efficient process model. Can Erlang demonstrate the idea that we can write things like instant message servers (particularly for the web) without the mental overhead of dealing with the problems around multi-threading? I admit that I am not good in multi-threading, but from what I coded up so far, I am so excited of what possibilities that can be done with Erlang.

I will, for sure, be utilizing ErlyWeb, and plan to write a couple of big tutorials when I am finished with my applications (along with the academic paper I will write.)

I am going to post something up here occasionally of whatever activity that is happening in my little world; hopefully people will be interested. (hehehehe)

... also, check out Joe Armstrong's new Prgamatic Programmer book, Programming Erlang:


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