Weblog:   The Missing Open Source Projects, from an Enterprise POV
Subject:   Distributed CRON and Messaging
Date:   2003-07-15 11:40:53
From:   patrickdlogan
I would tie these two topics together. One solid open source foundation has been very well proven: Erlang OTLP.

The Erlang system seems to me to be well more than 80 percent of an industrial strength CRON.

Other open source language providers should look to Erlang OLTP for the ingredients that simplify scalable, monitored, distributed systems.


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  • Distributed CRON and Messaging
    2003-07-19 13:43:42  Robert Lefkowitz | [View]

    I agree that Erlang has a number of capabilities that simplify building distributed systems. However, it is a language and a platform -- one would still need to build a distributed cron application. And as you point out on your blog, it would be difficult to build a sustaining community around such a project developed in Erlang.

    One could then argue that the facilities that Erlang provides could be incorporated into other more popular development tools / languages. That suggests the "Source Terminator" project -- combining good ideas from multiple projects. Unfortunately for distributed cron, the work involved in combining Erlang and Mono, or Erlang and Python probably exceeds the effort required to just go ahead and build distributed cron using C the old fashioned way.

    It is a shame that it is so difficult to build sustaining projects out of brilliant but unknown languages (check out Aplus ). Likewise a shame that we don't know how to incorporate these ideas into the mainstream more effectively.

    • Distributed CRON and Messaging
      2003-07-23 21:06:23  mvw [View]

      Erlang is one of a few languages that are designed from the ground up for distributed programming, in this case from the functional programmers camp.

      An imperative example is CxC (a C/C++ ish language), which seems to be more aimed for number crunching while Erlang has a focus on networking and reliable operation.

      Erlang is the only functional language, where I have not the feeling that it is just an academic toy. This is because it is used in heavy real world apps in the telecommunications area.
      It comes with lots of cool ideas and apps, among it a distributed database.
      I wish the documentation would be more suited to newcomers, but that is just a matter of time.

      I disagree that it would be hard to find Erlang coders.
      Ever looked at the Zope sources and then claiming that Python is easy?
      I would rather stick the effort into learning the Erlang base language. :)

      So please mail me your cron requirements.
      And lets see, how far we get.


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