How would you explain OTP to a newbie?

Let’s kick off this section with the thing that most people wonder when they come to Erlang - what the heck is OTP? :lol:

If a newbie asked you about OTP, how would you explain it to them in a way that is easy to understand?


Maybe at the beginning I wouldn’t say anything about OTP but start with the actor model itself.


I’d explain what a GenServer is first. In a OOP fashion, I guess.


It’s like the book of patterns, but instead of a book, you get running code that you can just use (you don’t need to write it yourself), and instead of 80 patterns, we only need 5. From them, 2 are very easy to implement, and 2 are hardly ever needed. So you can focus on really really understanding just one: gen_server.
Besides that, you also get a huge standard library that encapsulates a lot of common functions and data structures so you don’t need to write them over and over yourself.



My take: all languages have a set of modules and libraries that ship as part of the language. This is called the “Standard Library”. In Erlang, the standard library is known as OTP, Open Telecom Platform, because originally it had many functionality related to telecommunication, but today it is as general and standard as most other languages.


Here ya go Rainer: How would you explain the Actor model to a newbie? :003:

And one for you too Maartz: How would you explain what a gen_server is to a newbie? :003:

That’s great Brujo :023: (You might like the thread posted above too!)

Red pill explanation please! :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Moved my reply here: Should OTP be the Standard Library?


3 posts were moved into a new topic: Should OTP be the Standard Library?