Need advice about which tool to choose?Ask the StackShare community!


+ 1

+ 1
Add tool

Erlang vs Haskell: What are the differences?

Developers describe Erlang as "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. On the other hand, Haskell is detailed as "An advanced purely-functional programming language". .

Erlang and Haskell can be primarily classified as "Languages" tools.

"Real time, distributed applications" is the top reason why over 49 developers like Erlang, while over 72 developers mention "Purely-functional programming " as the leading cause for choosing Haskell.

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, Grooveshark, and Heroku are some of the popular companies that use Erlang, whereas Haskell is used by thoughtbot, DoxIQ, and Wagon. Erlang has a broader approval, being mentioned in 70 company stacks & 47 developers stacks; compared to Haskell, which is listed in 33 company stacks and 47 developer stacks.

Decisions about Erlang and Haskell
Timm Stelzer
VP Of Engineering at Flexperto GmbH · | 18 upvotes · 556.6K views

We have a lot of experience in JavaScript, writing our services in NodeJS allows developers to transition to the back end without any friction, without having to learn a new language. There is also the option to write services in TypeScript, which adds an expressive type layer. The semi-shared ecosystem between front and back end is nice as well, though specifically NodeJS libraries sometimes suffer in quality, compared to other major languages.

As for why we didn't pick the other languages, most of it comes down to "personal preference" and historically grown code bases, but let's do some post-hoc deduction:

Go is a practical choice, reasonably easy to learn, but until we find performance issues with our NodeJS stack, there is simply no reason to switch. The benefits of using NodeJS so far outweigh those of picking Go. This might change in the future.

PHP is a language we're still using in big parts of our system, and are still sometimes writing new code in. Modern PHP has fixed some of its issues, and probably has the fastest development cycle time, but it suffers around modelling complex asynchronous tasks, and (on a personal note) lack of support for writing in a functional style.

We don't use Python, Elixir or Ruby, mostly because of personal preference and for historic reasons.

Rust, though I personally love and use it in my projects, would require us to specifically hire for that, as the learning curve is quite steep. Its web ecosystem is OK by now (see, but in my opinion, it is still no where near that of the other web languages. In other words, we are not willing to pay the price for playing this innovation card.

Haskell, as with Rust, I personally adore, but is simply too esoteric for us. There are problem domains where it shines, ours is not one of them.

See more
Get Advice from developers at your company using StackShare Enterprise. Sign up for StackShare Enterprise.
Learn More
Pros of Erlang
Pros of Haskell
  • 60
    Concurrency Support
  • 60
    Real time, distributed applications
  • 56
    Fault tolerance
  • 35
    Soft real-time
  • 31
    Open source
  • 21
    Functional programming
  • 20
    Message passing
  • 15
    Immutable data
  • 13
    Works as expected
  • 5
    Facebook chat uses it at backend
  • 4
  • 4
    Knowledgeable community
  • 3
    Bullets included
  • 90
    Purely-functional programming
  • 66
    Statically typed
  • 59
  • 39
    Open source
  • 38
    Great community
  • 31
    Built-in concurrency
  • 30
    Built-in parallelism
  • 30
  • 24
    Referentially transparent
  • 20
  • 15
    Intellectual satisfaction
  • 15
    Type inference
  • 12
    If it compiles, it's correct
  • 8
  • 8
  • 5
    Great type system
  • 4
    Purely-functional Programming
  • 4
    One of the most powerful languages *(see blub paradox)*
  • 4
    Proposition testing with QuickCheck
  • 3
  • 3
    Pattern matching and completeness checking
  • 3
    Great maintainability of the code
  • 3
  • 3
    Highly expressive, type-safe, fast development time
  • 2
    Best in class thinking tool
  • 2
    Kind system
  • 2
    Better type-safe than sorry
  • 2
    Type classes
  • 1
  • 1

Sign up to add or upvote prosMake informed product decisions

Cons of Erlang
Cons of Haskell
    Be the first to leave a con
    • 9
      Too much distraction in language extensions
    • 8
      Error messages can be very confusing
    • 5
      Libraries have poor documentation
    • 3
      No good ABI
    • 3
      No best practices
    • 2
      Poor packaging for apps written in it for Linux distros
    • 2
      Sometimes performance is unpredictable
    • 1
      Slow compilation
    • 1
      Monads are hard to understand

    Sign up to add or upvote consMake informed product decisions

    - No public GitHub repository available -

    What is Erlang?

    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.

    What is Haskell?

    It is a general purpose language that can be used in any domain and use case, it is ideally suited for proprietary business logic and data analysis, fast prototyping and enhancing existing software environments with correct code, performance and scalability.

    Need advice about which tool to choose?Ask the StackShare community!

    What companies use Erlang?
    What companies use Haskell?
    See which teams inside your own company are using Erlang or Haskell.
    Sign up for StackShare EnterpriseLearn More

    Sign up to get full access to all the companiesMake informed product decisions

    What tools integrate with Erlang?
    What tools integrate with Haskell?

    Sign up to get full access to all the tool integrationsMake informed product decisions

    What are some alternatives to Erlang and Haskell?
    Elixir leverages the Erlang VM, known for running low-latency, distributed and fault-tolerant systems, while also being successfully used in web development and the embedded software domain.
    Go is expressive, concise, clean, and efficient. Its concurrency mechanisms make it easy to write programs that get the most out of multicore and networked machines, while its novel type system enables flexible and modular program construction. Go compiles quickly to machine code yet has the convenience of garbage collection and the power of run-time reflection. It's a fast, statically typed, compiled language that feels like a dynamically typed, interpreted language.
    Clojure is designed to be a general-purpose language, combining the approachability and interactive development of a scripting language with an efficient and robust infrastructure for multithreaded programming. Clojure is a compiled language - it compiles directly to JVM bytecode, yet remains completely dynamic. Clojure is a dialect of Lisp, and shares with Lisp the code-as-data philosophy and a powerful macro system.
    Akka is a toolkit and runtime for building highly concurrent, distributed, and resilient message-driven applications on the JVM.
    It is an industrial strength programming language supporting functional, imperative and object-oriented styles. It is the technology of choice in companies where a single mistake can cost millions and speed matters,
    See all alternatives