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What is Erlang and OTP?

Erlang is a programming language used to build massively scalable soft real-time systems with requirements on high availability. Some of its uses are in telecoms, banking, e-commerce, computer telephony and instant messaging. Erlang's runtime system has built-in support for concurrency, distribution and fault tolerance. Originally developed at Ericsson, it was released as open source in 1998.

OTP is set of Erlang libraries and design principles providing middle-ware to develop these systems. It includes its own distributed database, applications to interface towards other languages, debugging and release handling tools. These tools and applications distributed by Ericsson are complemented by numerous other open source projects.

Here is an example of Erlang code:

-define(TEMPLATE_0, "~s of beer on the wall, ~s of beer.~n"
                    "Go to the store and buy some more," 
                    "99 bottles of beer on the wall.~n").
-define(TEMPLATE_N, "~s of beer on the wall, ~s of beer.~n"
                    "Take one down and pass it around, ~s"
                    " of beer on the wall.~n~n").

create_verse(0)      -> 
    {0, io_lib:format(?TEMPLATE_0, phrase(0))};
create_verse(Bottle) -> 
    {Bottle, io_lib:format(?TEMPLATE_N, phrase(Bottle))}.

phrase(0)      -> ["No more bottles", "no more bottles"];
phrase(1)      -> ["1 bottle", "1 bottle", "no more bottles"];
phrase(2)      -> ["2 bottles", "2 bottles", "1 bottle"];
phrase(Bottle) -> 
     lists:duplicate(2,integer_to_list(Bottle) ++ " bottles") ++ 
                     [integer_to_list(Bottle-1) ++ " bottles"].
bottles() -> lists:reverse(lists:seq(0,99)).
sing() ->
    lists:foreach(fun spawn_singer/1, bottles()),
spawn_singer(Bottle) ->
    Pid = self(), 
    spawn(fun() -> Pid ! create_verse(Bottle) end).
sing_verse(Bottle) ->
	{_, Verse} when Bottle == 0 ->
	{N, Verse} when Bottle == N ->
	3000 ->
	    io:format("Verse not received after 3 seconds"
                      " - re-starting singer~n"),


Good places to start on

HowTo documents - Tutorials and Guides for Erlang developers
Erlang Cookbook - A collection of Erlang solutions to specific problems
Erlang Concepts - Articles dealing with specific Erlang aspects
Erlang Best Practices - Articles dealing with best practices in Erlang
Erlang Articles - Articles of interest to Erlang developers and testers
ErlangJobs - Erlang and Erlang related Jobs
Links to Erlang related sites outside Trapexit
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