Erlang and Ruby

The ITSC organized ::code::XtremeApps:: contest has drawn in a significant number of participants (at the close there were 92 teams!). The contest centers on building apps for the web using one or more of the following: Ruby on Rails, Google Web Toolkit, Google Maps and Google Widgets. The languages targetted are open source languages Ruby and Java (yes, the JVM is not open sourced yet, but is coming soon). It is exciting to see the interest levels being as high as it is and it does give some hope to the future that there would still be programmers – people who create stuff – in Singapore. That we are not becoming a Purchase Order-taking, box pushing IT industry.

While these two languages are exciting, I am getting more and more intrigued with Erlang. With the increasing capabilities of desktop machines (quad core, octo-core etc), I think the realtime nature of Erlang would be something that will put to rest the last 20 years of object-based languages. I have always found something naggingly bad about OO languages (did not ever like C++ but was able to accept Java), and my guess is that once the multicore machines are commoditized, OO-coding techniques would fall on the way side. Let’s revisit this in 2011.

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