Erlang Extreme Programming & Refactoring, Was: non-telecom in erlang

Marc Ernst Eddy van Woerkom <>
Fri Feb 7 10:52:03 CET 2003

>    So what would the plugin have to do to be usefull in
>   general (not just to me?)
>    Syntax Highlighting 
>    Refactoring (Rename/Delete, etc?)
>    Auto Compile(Error Reporting)
>    CVS/Team Support 
>    Interactive Shell
>    Module Outlines

For Java programming, I have found the following features very useful.
I believe they would be useful for Erlang development as well:

- easy documentation lookup: 
  To have the cursor on a function name or some syntactic element and then
  pressing a key or mouse click to be able to conjure up the documentation 
  for it. Under Java this shows up either the official javadoc html for the
  standard classes or if it is one of my written classes it tries to come up 
  with local generated javadoc. 
  Great would be, if also tutorial references could be offered.
  (Java example: I look up a SWING class and I get the tutorial presented
  as documentation choice)

- problem resolution:
  Eclipse seems to do background compilation thus while you
  enter code you see various error conditions.
  The interesting thing is that you can hit a key and Eclipse provides
  proposals how to get rid of the current error.
  E.g. under Java I used a standard class, but I have not written down
  the import statement yet - in that case Eclipse offers me to insert
  the import statement in its list of problem resolution proposals.

- source reformat:
  The Java plugin has a broad range of options for formatting 
  source code which map to the various indentation styles that are
  It then features a option to reformat source code according 
  these rules. Which works quite good.

- support for literate programming:
  Under Java this means special inserting /** .. */ comments,
  which are picked up by the javadoc tool to generate interface
  If my cursor is on a method I can chose the "generate javadoc"
  option and Eclipse generates a bit of javadoc comment for it.
  This done quite good, the comment shows the method name, it
  fills out the documentation for method parameters and the
  return value as well.
  Together with the documentation lookup, it allowed me to generate
  the javadoc documentation in very a quick and comfortable way.
- statement completion/library lookup:
  A feature similiar to the auto completion found in Emacs.
  One starts to write some statement and Eclipse offers you
  a list box with possible completions. For Java it knows what
  is available in the standard libs and what is available in
  in the project, so you get a nice way to browse around and
  quickly complete the statement in a safe way.

- debugging support:
  It interfaces the text mode debugger to a GUI


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