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InfoQ Homepage News Erlang Copied Scala's Actors & Erlang's VM is almost a Clone of the JVM

Erlang Copied Scala's Actors & Erlang's VM is almost a Clone of the JVM

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Erlang co-creators, Joe Armstrong and Robert Virding, have admitted that Erlang was heavily inspired by Java. In an interview at ErlangFactory 2011 SF, they confirmed (in video below) a long standing rumor that Scala Actors had heavily inspired their work in what they then called Erlang Processes. Moreover, they acknowledged the fact that Erlang's VM is barely a clone of the famous Java Virtual Machine.

Joe and Robert then mention design decisions they made and regret choosing dynamic over static typing for Erlang. They confirm that they started the implementation of turning the type system into a static one adding concepts like monads.

Erlang co-creators then promise that these changes will be released soon in a version that also gets rid of the current VM moving back to the well known JVM.

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Community comments

  • It's 1st of April

    by Omkar Patil /

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    Happy April fool's day!

  • Re: It's 1st of April

    by Matthew Sackman /

    Your message is awaiting moderation. Thank you for participating in the discussion.

    Erm, by the way, you may want to check out hg.rabbitmq.com/erlando/ and lists.rabbitmq.com/pipermail/rabbitmq-discuss/2...

    Monads are here!

  • Re: It's 1st of April

    by Gozo Smith /

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    it's obvious that Joe Armstrong is quite a bad lier, Robert Virding is much more convincing :)

  • you'll wish its the 1st of April

    by Spencer Cathey /

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    Thanks for the fun! I just read about the Ford Sync rebooting. A programmer can easily imagine being only able to detect a bug and forcing a reboot as an expedient solution. Then I read further about new legislation requiring programmers to have professional engineering certificates before connecting nuclear power plants to the Internet with the mandated .NET components ;-)

  • It's 1st of April

    by nicolae caralicea /

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    I just enjoyed it. It actually blew my mind firstly... They both looked so serious.
    I am both Erlang and Scala fun and have a lot of respect for the Erlang and Scala's creators.
    These two great languages have their own niches and I hope someday many dormant developers will wake up and start appreciating the values and the fun they can get by adopting them

  • and a bottle of rum

    by Mark Pawelek /

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    I'd figured out the joke within the first few seconds. You need to be more obtuse next time. Not entirely pointless video as I was baffled and alarmed for at least a couple of seconds.

  • Your message is awaiting moderation. Thank you for participating in the discussion.

    May be they are right, but I am wondering copying is something which already exists and you redo or borrow from that, atleast from wikipedia, it says Scala was from 2004 and Erlang process was there from 1980's, so who copied whom? I still remember the old website of scala where it was mentioned that "-inspired by erlang" :P who inspired whom? Probably with internal, it should have been different question.

  • Re: Copied????

    by Maruthavanan Subbarayan /

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    Too early to type this comment :( my bad

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