Erlang Development Environment

Sean Hinde <>
Mon Mar 5 17:25:15 CET 2001

Fellow Erlangers,

I've read a number of suggestions for a better Erlang Development
Environment than emacs.. It certainly seems we are falling behind some other
languages in terms of support environment. (OCaml, Clean, Python etc).

1. Does anyone really feel the need for something better/different?

2. Is Ericsson already working on something?

3. What form should it take?

4. How could such a thing be implemented?

5. By who (ducks behind partition immediately :) )?

A few random thoughts..

The shell is still really important

Drop down menu to connect to the shell on any connected node

OTP "Application" file layout aware project tools

Nice support for versioning (maybe even forced versioning mode?) of
individual files, whole applications, releases and projects(backends to

Switching between different projects (sets of applications/ files in current

Nice source code editor - hotlinks on function names to {find all places
called from, jump to implementation}.

Application/module/function tree type browser for current project scope.

Nice support for building initial releases and then also generating upgrade
files and relevant startup files etc

Application "Wizard".

Download and code loading to a bunch of test nodes.

Writing this in Erlang is probably dependent on nice possibly native (?) gui
support. Various approaches to this seem to be being taken:

1) Use the various gui builder tools (Glade etc) to build the gui and
provide a callback mechanism into Erlang (Python does somethng like this I

2) Build as much of the framework as possible in Erlang and provide a bunch
of c callbacks which need to be implemented natively to "create the various
widgets" and "insert text of a certain colour into this part of the editor
display". This is the approcah taken by abiword http:/ .
Here they have managed to write a wod procesor where 90% of the code is non
platform specific and 10 % implements the native platform specific gui stuff
(Windows, Unix, Gnome, BeOS, QNX).

GS wouldn't appear to be quite up to this..

It would be a large (!) project but maybe quite a few of the parts are
already out there (so to speak).

Thoughts anyone?

- Sean

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