A bunch of people linked me to Facebook’s presentation on their use of Erlang (among other languages) to build their chat platform. The presentation is definitely worth scanning. One of the things that always strikes me about Erlang is the way people writing software in it can so matter-of-factly dismiss problems that would be huge in infrastructure built on other languages. It blows my mind that things like hot code upgrades, live node inspection and repair, and overall system stability in the presence of tons of errors can be considered “mostly solved problems.” I love the fact that the presentation mentions that error logging could take down Erlang nodes, and it’s considered a footnote, rather than a serious stability problem.
I bought the beta book for Programming Erlang in 2007ish, but forgot most of it, since I didn’t have a good project to use it on. I’m re-learning it now that we’re running into problems that can be naively solved by throwing cores at them, and presentations like these make me really excited about the possibilities it might open.