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From Robert Dionne <>
Subject Re: Erlang vs Scala
Date Tue, 07 Apr 2009 11:21:50 GMT
I would imagine Scala is interesting for those with an existing  
commitment to a large legacy base of Java code. However it's Erlang  
features are bolted on after the fact rather than built in from the  
ground up. I'm reminded of the ancient chinese expression that one  
can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear :)

As languages go, Erlang is a functional language and so like Haskell,  
Lisp, etc.. it's not clear that it will ever be more than a niche  
language. Used well it can become a differentiator. Not including  
Mochiweb, CouchDB is still a fairly small piece of code considering  
what it does. I suspect were it written in Java there would likely be  
about 10 times the amount of code.

One of the sweet things about CouchDB is that an average web  
developer with good Javascript skills can use it quite productively  
with little or no Erlang skills. Perhaps this is less true now but  
certainly will be after 1.0

Thanks for the link, I think it summarizes the differences well.



On Apr 7, 2009, at 5:12 AM, Wout Mertens wrote:

> Hi everyone,
> I've always been worried about the fact that CouchDB runs on  
> Erlang. After all, the Erlang ecosystem isn't that large or well- 
> established in (non-telephony) enterprise settings.
> That's why, when I read about Scala, my interest was piqued. Scala  
> is Java with adaptations to make it scale. Adaptations mostly  
> nicked from Erlang, no less. On top of that, Scala compiles to JVM  
> bytecode, so that it's "entreprise-compatible". In our company, the  
> preferred application is Java based, because the deployment teams  
> understand it and know how to manage JVM farms.
> So I began to wonder if it wouldn't be better for CouchDB to be  
> written in Scala.
> Here's a link I found comparing Erlang and Scala:
> After reading the blogpost I was thinking "maybe not" but after the  
> comments, I'm not so sure any more.
> So I'm wondering what everybody here thinks.
> Wout.

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