Robert Virding

Co-inventor of Erlang

Robert Virding is Principal Language Expert at Erlang Solutions Ltd. While at Ericsson AB, Robert was one of the original members of the Ericsson Computer Science Lab, and co-inventor of the Erlang language. He took part in the original system design and contributed much of the original libraries, as well as to the current compiler.

While at the lab he also did a lot of work on the implementation of logic and functional languages and on garbage collection. He has also worked as an entrepreneur and was one of the co-founders of one of the first Erlang startups (Bluetail). Robert also worked a number of years at the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV) Modelling and Simulations Group. He co-authored the first book (Prentice-Hall) on Erlang, and is regularly invited to teach and present throughout the world.

These are some thoughts, maybe even a philosophy, I have about program language design based on my experiences with various programming languages. They include languages I have used, and languages I have been a part of in designing and implementing. These languages have come from many different types and have had different characteristics. Much of this is also valid to system design as well.

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Why yet another lisp? Why do we need/want a new lisp for the Erlang VM? What is it that makes the existing ones, even Clojure, a bad fit? LFE (Lisp Flavoured Erlang) has been designed to run efficiently on the Erlang VM and at the same time be a "real lisp" providing Lisp's good bits. We will describe the language and how it uses the properties of the system as well as some of the tooling around it.

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