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Erlang is a programming language and runtime system designed for building concurrent, distributed, and fault-tolerant systems. It was developed by Ericsson in the late 1980s to support the telecommunications industry, where high reliability and fault tolerance are critical.

Here are some key aspects and features of Erlang:

Concurrency and Parallelism: Erlang is built around the concept of lightweight processes, known as "Erlang processes." These processes are extremely lightweight, allowing millions of them to coexist within a single Erlang runtime system. Erlang processes are designed for concurrent and parallel execution, enabling efficient utilization of multi-core processors.

Message Passing: Communication between Erlang processes is achieved through asynchronous message passing. Erlang provides built-in mechanisms for sending and receiving messages, making it easy to build highly concurrent and distributed systems. Message passing enables loose coupling between processes, enhancing fault tolerance and scalability.

Fault Tolerance: Erlang was designed with fault tolerance as a primary goal. It has built-in mechanisms for process isolation, error recovery, and supervision. Erlang processes can be supervised and restarted automatically in case of failures, allowing systems to recover from errors without disrupting the overall operation.

Hot Code Upgrade: Erlang supports hot code swapping, which means that the system can be updated with new code without stopping or restarting the running processes. This feature enables systems to be updated or upgraded on the fly without downtime.

Distributed Computing: Erlang provides strong support for distributed computing. Erlang nodes can be connected over a network, allowing processes to communicate and collaborate across different machines. This makes it well-suited for building distributed, fault-tolerant systems.

Pattern Matching and Functional Programming: Erlang follows a functional programming paradigm and provides powerful pattern matching capabilities. Pattern matching allows developers to express complex data transformations and business logic concisely and effectively.

Soft Real-Time Capabilities: Erlang is known for its soft real-time capabilities, meaning it can handle systems with time-sensitive requirements. It offers mechanisms for precise timing, event scheduling, and real-time message processing.

Open Source and Active Community: Erlang is open source, with an active and supportive community. The community provides libraries, frameworks, and tools to enhance Erlang development and offers resources for learning and sharing knowledge.

Erlang has been widely adopted in various domains, including telecommunications, e-commerce, financial systems, gaming, and distributed systems. Its unique design features make it a robust choice for building highly reliable, scalable, and fault-tolerant applications that require concurrency and distributed computing capabilities.