Last year I started to occasionally play with Erlang. People who know me as die-hard C coder who tries to avoid C++, Java and Python wherever possible will probably be surprised here now.
I have no intention of changing my general position on programming languages. I don't feel comfortable using something where I don't know and/or understand the immediate impact on how this code will be executed on the actual silicon.
However, if you have a need to play with anything that uses ASN.1, but particularly the aligned/unaligned PER encoding variants, then it is pretty clear that there is nothing available as Free Software that can compare to the Erlang asn1ct/asn1rt modules.
At that time last year I was doing some rapid prototyping with the RANAP protocol, and the progress was quite quick. I never had time to return to that project, so it (and my Erlang skills) were left dormant.
In recent weeks, I have picked Erlang up again - again to work on ASN.1 encoded messages: This time TCAP and MAP. While we still need the in-progress TCAP+MAP implementation in C for OsmoSGSN, there are other tasks at hand where an Erlang-based implementation might yield a much higher productivity.
So right now I'm working on a program that parses/decodes and iterates through every MAP component in a TCAP message and replaces certain fields, re-encodes the entire message and sends it off the wire. Once that is done, I think I'll actually try to do a more complete TCAP server and implement a simplistic HLR for OsmoSGSN testing.