C vs Erlang: What are the differences?
What is C? One of the most widely used programming languages of all time. .
What is Erlang? A programming language used to build massively scalable soft real-time systems with requirements on high availability. Some of Erlang's 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. OTP is set of Erlang libraries and design principles providing middle-ware to develop these systems.
C and Erlang belong to "Languages" category of the tech stack.
"Performance" is the primary reason why developers consider C over the competitors, whereas "Real time, distributed applications" was stated as the key factor in picking Erlang.
Erlang is an open source tool with 7.74K GitHub stars and 2.1K GitHub forks. Here's a link to Erlang's open source repository on GitHub.
AdRoll, Twitch, and Redis Labs are some of the popular companies that use C, whereas Erlang is used by AdRoll, Grooveshark, and Heroku. C has a broader approval, being mentioned in 64 company stacks & 251 developers stacks; compared to Erlang, which is listed in 70 company stacks and 47 developer stacks.
What is C?
What is Erlang?
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Postmates built a tool called Bazaar that helps onboard new partners and handles several routine tasks, like nightly emails to merchants alerting them about items that are out of stock.
Since they ran Bazaar across multiple instances, the team needed to avoid sending multiple emails to their partners by obtaining lock across multiple hosts. To solve their challenge, they created and open sourced ConsulMutEx, and an Elixir module for acquiring and releasing locks with Consul and other backends.
It works with Consul’s KV store, as well as other backends, including ets, Erlang’s in-memory database.
One important decision for delivering a platform independent solution with low memory footprint and minimal dependencies was the choice of the programming language. We considered a few from Python (there was already a reasonably large Python code base at Thumbtack), to Go (we were taking our first steps with it), and even Rust (too immature at the time).
We ended up writing it in C. It was easy to meet all requirements with only one external dependency for implementing the web server, clearly no challenges running it on any of the Linux distributions we were maintaining, and arguably the implementation with the smallest memory footprint given the choices above.
Why Uber developed H3, our open source grid system to make geospatial data visualization and exploration easier and more efficient:
We decided to create H3 to combine the benefits of a hexagonal global grid system with a hierarchical indexing system. A global grid system usually requires at least two things: a map projection and a grid laid on top of the map. For map projection, we chose to use gnomonic projections centered on icosahedron faces. This projects from Earth as a sphere to an icosahedron, a twenty-sided platonic solid. The H3 grid is constructed by laying out 122 base cells over the Earth, with ten cells per face. H3 supports sixteen resolutions: https://eng.uber.com/h3/
Another major decision was to adopt Elixir and Phoenix Framework - the DX (Developer eXperience) is pretty similar to what we know from RoR, but this tech is running on the top of rock-solid Erlang platform which is powering planet-scale telecom solutions for 20+ years. So we're getting pretty much the best from both worlds: minimum friction & smart conventions that eliminate the excessive boilerplate AND highly concurrent EVM (Erlang's Virtual Machine) that makes all the scalability problems vanish. The transition was very smooth - none of Ruby developers we had decided to leave because of Elixir. What is more, we kept recruiting Ruby developers w/o any requirement regarding Elixir proficiency & we still were able to educate them internally in almost no time. Obviously Elixir comes with some more tools in the stack: Credo , Hex , AppSignal (required to properly monitor BEAM apps).
At FlowStack we write most of our backend in Go. Go is a well thought out language, with all the right compromises for speedy development of speedy and robust software. It's tooling is part of what makes Go such a great language. Testing and benchmarking is built into the language, in a way that makes it easy to ensure correctness and high performance. In most cases you can get more performance out of Rust and C or C++, but getting everything right is more cumbersome.
been programming in c for over a decade, since learning it in college. still use it for various low level projects. used it recently to develop an embedded application for a custom board.
The core of the arcapos applications is written in C, so are most of the Lua modules (bindings to various hardware or protocols).
The Sqreen PHP agent is both a PHP extension, built in C, and a daemon built in Python.