This question, about whether Erlang is viable on embedded systems, seems like a valuable type of question for professional programmers to ask. Knowing the pitfalls of particular technologies for particular use-cases in advance can help developers plan their approach and make a more educated decision, potentially leading to better outcomes (e.g. shorter development time, a higher probability of success, a better final product, etc).

Moreover, it's not easily google-able, as indicated in the question itself. For less popular languages like Erlang, there's simply not much there to find; more popular languages/technologies like C++, there's likely to be more noise than signal.

And the question itself (at least in its final form after several edits) is pretty clear and specific about what the actual use-case is and what concerns there are about using Erlang.

But it's clearly not a good fit for StackOverflow, since it's necessarily somewhat opinion-based and isn't quite a "programming problem," so it's been closed.

Would it fit here? Are there other SE sites where it might fit?

EDIT: The new Software Recommendations site is one other possibility.

1 Answer 1


Yes, I think that kind of questions can be on-topic here.

However, the specific question that the link refers to would not be a good fit, as it seems to be too broad.

  • Sorry, but I don't understand what's too broad about it. The OP gives their specific hardware constraints. If this question is "too broad", I don't understand how any variation on it could ever not be too broad. Is there a specific way you can think of to limit the scope? Feb 10, 2016 at 20:23
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    @KyleStrand As described in a comment it is vague and shows no prior research. Is it practical? Might be - not enough information on the actual problem being solved. The "what should I use" is a recommendation question. The "what is the strange and memory footprint" is a matter of "load it up, run it and see" which the OP can do far better than any of us can as the OP has access to all the parts.
    – user40980
    Feb 10, 2016 at 21:48
  • @MichaelT That comment was posted long before the final edit was made to the question, and I specified in my question that I'm talking about the edited version of that question. Feb 10, 2016 at 22:38
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    @KyleStrand I still hold that it is vague. What is the question being asked? I see one in the title, I see one on the first line and then a bit of extra text that isn't a question and doesn't sufficiently constrain the problem in a way that we can answer in a useful way (if the OP launches the environment they will have the answer to the first line question much more quickly than I can launch it). The third edit doesn't actually describe the size of the problem/project itself. Without this information the answer could be "it will fit" or "it won't fit" and I can't decide which is right.
    – user40980
    Feb 10, 2016 at 22:43
  • @MichaelT I think we're going to have to agree to disagree. The whole point of asking such a question is to avoid the necessity of building (and potentially cross-compiling) a rather complicated chunk of code just in order to see whether it works, and since (as you note) a large project might not work even if a small one does, even getting the environment ported to the embedded platform won't necessarily give you a good answer. So, again, if this is "too broad," all such questions are too broad. Feb 10, 2016 at 22:48
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    @KyleStrand I wrote a fair bit about this in Why is “Is it possible to…” a poorly worded question? - Is it possible to run an arbitrary project in some environment? I guess so. The amount of time it will take to determine for sure once you fully describe the project to determine it will be the same for you as it will be for me. This isn't something that draws from my experience but rather sitting down and doing it. And if you already have the setup, you're a few steps ahead of me in determining the answer.
    – user40980
    Feb 10, 2016 at 22:56
  • @MichaelT So would you conclude that this type of question is simply not a good fit for any SE/Q&A site, since (as you note) it's essentially a feasibility study? This may be why I'm confused, since you're commenting on this answer (with which you do not seem to be in agreement) rather than writing your own. Feb 10, 2016 at 23:02

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