Example of Oblivion

Similar to other papers I have seen  describing the advantages of Erlang and OTP,  the text titled “Sendmail Meets Erlang: Experiences Using Erlang for Email Applications”, by S.L.Fritchie, J.Larson, N.Christenson, D.Jones and L.Öhman – dated October 3, 2000) succeeds in forgetting everything related to Security.

The authors describe a specific project focused on integrating diverse data repositories by using a communication hub developed with Erlang.

Many advantages of the language come to the fore:

-Rapid Prototyping and Development

-High Performance

-Ease of Management

They also list “what Erlang needs” in relation to better documentation of coding practices, better inter-process communication mechanisms (more efficient TCP drivers for example), a better debugger, improvements in string handling and code profiling, and more support for network services, but they completely and thoroughly omit any Security capability.

I have to underline that this slant can’t be part of the Erlang “culture” but arises from the wider engineering context. By reading this paper for example we do not learn really if Erlang has or does not have any security functionality, tools or mechanisms, but instead we clearly see that this project had no Security requirements.

(You can find a HTML version of the paper here: http://www.jetcafe.org/~npc/doc/euc00-sendmail.html )