Make replacement for Erlang - suggestions?

Eric Merritt <>
Mon Sep 16 18:06:02 CEST 2002


Guys,

 I am currently working on an Eclipse plugin for
Erlang. One of the features I would like to add is
simple (and hopefully powerful) Erlang specific build
scripting facility. I will probably set it up as a
standalone project and integrate into the plugin as an
external tool.  

 I believe that the immediate question that people
will ask is  'why not use make?'. I personally dislike
make for numerous reasons, which I will not bring up
here so as to avoid a holy war. For these reasons I do
not consider it an option. Although, I will need to
support it for the people out there that do like and
use it.

 Java already has a similar tool call 'Ant'. Its a
very good tool directed specifically at Java. It may
be customized for other languages due to the provision
of extension tags, however the core of 'Ant' including
all the built in tags are specific to Java. The only
areas where I believe that the 'Ant' developers took a
wrong step is use of XML as their scripting language.
I personally believe that XML is not really a great
basis for descriptions of logic. Also, the lack of
conditional logic make for some awkward scripts
(thought they have recently fixed this problem) .


 Right now my current idea is to use Erlang itself as
the build script language  .A master module that
controls the build would simply make callbacks into
the users Erlang build script for
instructions/directions. This, should, I believe
provide the simplest, quickest and most flexible
solution to the problem. 

 Do any of you have suggestions concerning this?
Knowledge of other projects who have already done
something similar? Criticism of the approach?

I would be happy to receive whatever feedback you wish
to provide.

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