Visualization tools for Erlang/OTP programs?

Daniel Dudley <>
Sun Jan 5 04:21:03 CET 2003


Kent Boortz wrote:

> Has anyone tested any general visualization tools to describe
> Erlang/OTP programs, i.e. to visually describe the supervision,
> process structure, messages, state etc? Like "ROOM Diagrams"?
> Any success, i.e. was the the time it takes to draw them worth
> it in your case? Do you find the visualization useful in the
> design phase before coding or as a way to create internal
> design documumentation?
> 
> Are any of the nine types of diagrams defined in UML usable for
> describing Erlang/OTP programs?
> 
> Do you use any free or commercial drawing tools that you
> recommend for drawing diagrams to describe Erlang/OTP programs?
> 
> The only drawings I have done myself is ascii drawings of the
> supervision structure, I'm just curious about what others do
> and if there is any potential for creating visual programming
> tools to generate Erlang programs or part of Erlang programs
> like processes that use gen_fsm,

You could test out "Libero" (freeware) from iMatix Corp
http://www.imatix.com/html/libero/index.htm

With Libero you:
- design your program visually as a state diagram; 
- choose your programming language; 
- generate a framework for your program; 
- fill-in the framework to get from rapid prototype to
  working program; 
- repeat until your program is perfect. 

You can generate code in a number of programming languages
and Unix shells. Although Erlang is not one of the supported
languages, you can write a schema that does so. Note that
I'll soon be working on just that, so if you would like to
cooperate or exchange experiences, please let me know.

Libero seems to be well-suited for concurrent, functional
programming. However, only experience will tell.

Libero runs on Windows, MS-DOS, VAX/VMS, UNIX and is
supplied with full portable ANSI C sources. 

Imatix has a number of other tools you may be interested in,
visit http://www.imatix.com/tools.htm

HTH,
Daniel




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