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Erlang vs OCaml: What are the differences?

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1. **Syntax**: Erlang uses a Prolog-inspired syntax with pattern matching, while OCaml follows a more traditional ML syntax with algebraic data types.
2. **Concurrency Support**: Erlang has built-in support for lightweight concurrency and fault-tolerance through the Actor model and supervisor trees, while OCaml relies on libraries like Lwt or Async for concurrency.
3. **Type System**: OCaml has a powerful type inference system that can catch many errors at compile time, while Erlang's dynamic typing allows for more flexibility but can lead to runtime errors.
4. **Performance**: OCaml usually compiles to native code, providing better performance, while Erlang's BEAM virtual machine prioritizes fault-tolerance and scalability over raw speed.
5. **Domain**: Erlang is commonly used for building distributed and fault-tolerant systems like telecommunications infrastructure, while OCaml is favored for its use in compilers, static analysis tools, and financial applications.
6. **Community**: The OCaml community tends to focus more on formal verification and academic research, while the Erlang community emphasizes practical solutions for building reliable systems at scale.

In Summary, Erlang and OCaml differ in syntax, concurrency support, type system, performance, domain use, and community focus.
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Pros of Erlang
Pros of OCaml
  • 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
  • 7
    Satisfying to write
  • 6
    Pattern matching
  • 4
    Also has OOP
  • 4
    Very practical
  • 3
    Easy syntax
  • 3
    Extremely powerful type inference
  • 1
    Efficient compiler

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Cons of Erlang
Cons of OCaml
    Be the first to leave a con
    • 3
      Small community
    • 1
      Royal pain in the neck to compile large programs

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    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 OCaml?

    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,

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    What companies use Erlang?
    What companies use OCaml?
    See which teams inside your own company are using Erlang or OCaml.
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    What tools integrate with Erlang?
    What tools integrate with OCaml?

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    What are some alternatives to Erlang and OCaml?
    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.
    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.
    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.
    See all alternatives