Erlang Development Environment

Sean Hinde <>
Wed Mar 7 14:47:46 CET 2001


> I don't mind a nicer enviroment, but I feel that a thight 
> integration between 
> dev. enviroment and the erlang language/VM is a bad idea for 
> several reasons:
> * it should be possible to use erlang with a shell and a 
> texteditor of your 
> choice for portablity reasons.
> * gui interfaces can be slower (to perfrom certain tasks) 
> than command line
> * I like the emacs(to edit) + shell(run and compile) + 
> netscape(read doc) 
> combination becouse it works just same for allmost any 
> language: erlang, java, C 

I didn't envisage that any of these things would go away, and Erlang is a
pretty good reason to download and learn to drive emacs.. I do think though
that at least a dedicated erlang editor with:

1. Function name completion on tab,
2. 'f1' to take you to the detailed doc for that function
3. or even just bring up the possible function headers with the names of the
variables (kind of like you get when entering an equation in M$ Excel) -
this could even work without access to any docs and for our own functions in
our own modules in the current path.
4. Click to jump to the function implementation.
5. .. Take a look at Visual C++ or some of those things and steal (without
breaking any software copyright laws of course ;) ) the best and most
relevant ideas.

would be quite a bit nicer. One even hears rumours that the majority of
progammers in at least parts of a certain large Erlang using telecoms
supplier don't even use emacs but instead use a wide array of vi, textpad,
notepad etc.

One quick win could be to at least have searchable documentation.

> Note: it's a lot of (redundant ?) work to make a system that 
> does what emacs + 
> shell + netscape do well - I suppouse one could do some kind 
> of framework that 
> simply uses these applications (perhaps another texteditor though ?). 

True, much work, and it would only be worth it if we ended up with something
much better. An interesting project also..

- Sean

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