November 8th, 2008

Erlang User Conference

Getting ready for going to Stockholm for the Erlang User Conference. There is a lot to see and I don't think I will be going to the The ABBA Museum... well... maybe.

The conference is at Ericsson's conference center. Ericsson is known for their AXD 301 system, using 1.7 million lines of Erlang to achieve 99.9999999% uptime (31 ms of downtime a year). In addition to high availability, Erlang is known for its succinctness. Erlang code can do the same job as C++ or Java in 1/3rd to 1/18th the amount of code depending on the task. Often Erlang is faster, as long as it is a concurrent messaging task, instead of computational_floating_point/file_intensive/regular_expression tasks. If Erlang is not the correct choice for a task, it can always be integrated as a separate node, to ensure fault tolerance in the system.

Source Lines Of Code (SLOC) is the simplest way to evaluate system complexity (not necessarily the "correct" way) and has been used with the Capability Maturity Model (CMM) to determine an understanding of the cost of software development when using a typical waterfall development methodology based on COnstructive COst MOdel (COCOMO) (which was developed in 1981).

From a pragmatic point of view, less SLOC in a critical backend system reduces development time and makes the system easier to maintain. The resulting system is easier to understand and is more likely to have a longer lifespan.