Erlang (programming language)

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Erlang is a general-purpose concurrent, garbage-collected programming language and runtime system. The sequential subset of Erlang is a functional language, with strict evaluation, single assignment, and dynamic typing. For concurrency it follows the Actor model. It was designed by Ericsson to support distributed, fault-tolerant, soft-real-time, non-stop applications. The first version was developed by Joe Armstrong in 1986.[1] It supports hot swapping, thus code can be changed without stopping a system.[2] It was originally a proprietary language within Ericsson, but was released as open source in 1998.

While threads are considered a complicated and error-prone topic in most languages, Erlang provides language-level features for creating and managing processes with the aim of simplifying concurrent programming. Though all concurrency is explicit in Erlang, processes communicate using message passing instead of shared variables, which removes the need for locks.

Contents

History

The name "Erlang", attributed to Bjarne Däcker, has been understood either as a reference to Danish mathematician and engineer Agner Krarup Erlang, or alternatively, as an abbreviation of "Ericsson Language".[1][3]

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