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Re: A language idea: Elle

On Wed, 8 Jan 2003, Michael Vanier wrote:

>> Date: Wed, 08 Jan 2003 07:55:05 +0100 (CET)
>> From: Luke Gorrie <luke@bluetail.com>
>> Bjarne Däcker has written a great thesis about Erlang's
>> adventures from the lab into Ericsson products, and later
>> to the outside world. Bjarne ran the Ericsson computer
>> science lab throughout.
>> The reference is "Concurrent Functional Programming for
>> Telecommunications: A Case Study of Technology Introduction",
>> http://www.ericsson.com/cslab/publications/bjarnelic.ps

>ISTR from the Erlang presentation at LL2 (BTW thanks for
>the webcast!), that Ericsson is trying to move away from
>Erlang for some reason and replace it with C++.  If so,
>that's not very encouraging.

Well, Bjarne's thesis describes some significant controversy
over Erlang:

"Although the Erlang [ban] only applies to [Ericsson
Radio], no major Erlang based projects were started at
Ericsson during 1998 or 1999. However, with the ongoing
projects using Erlang, the volume of training and consulting
remains at the same level as before." (page 37)

The specifics change over time, but still, Ericsson's GPRS
solution and the core of Ericsson's Voice over Packet
solution are Erlang-based (4 years after the ban). The
amount of Erlang code in active production projects at
Ericsson is in the order of millions of lines. It doesn't go
away that easily.

Meanwhile, www.erlang.org statistics show that the use of
Erlang outside of Ericsson keeps growing. The latest version
of Erlang/OTP (R9B) was released in September, and already,
more than 11,000 copies have been downloaded(*).

It is getting less and less relevant to the Erlang community
what Ericsson does with Erlang internally. Nortel sells
Erlang-based products, and Motorola has financed a research
position in Edinburgh to introduce Erlang in Telecoms
development in Great Britain. Erlang is Open Source, and
does pretty well on its own.

Bjarne's thesis provides an interesting account of how
difficult it is to introduce new technology.


(*) Not counting the copies that are bundled with the
Wings3D application.

Ulf Wiger, Senior Specialist,
   / / /   Architecture & Design of Carrier-Class Software
  / / /    Strategic Product & System Management
 / / /     Ericsson Telecom AB, ATM Multiservice Networks