A Joeish Erlang distribution (long)

Sebastian Strollo <>
Tue Jan 28 08:42:36 CET 2003


"Joakim G." <> writes:

> Erlang is ready for an alternative distribution.

It seems that this subject was pretty much dealt with in less than a
day, so being on the west coast of continental USA I guess I am a
little bit late... :-)

Just wanted to add a comment (okay I wanted to "just add a comment"
but it turned into a long babble:-) The thought of dividing up the
Erlang distribution into smaller apps is at least as old as the Open
Source release - I was trying really hard to implement it back in 1998
but the problems I had was that the build system was monolithic and
very interdependent (for some applications no-one really knew exactly
which the dependency applications were...)

For example: a bunch of the apps have snmp MIBS, this meant that the
whole ASN.1 compiler plus snmp app was needed to compile
e.g. stdlib. One idea would then perhaps be to only compile the mibs
if you had the snmp app, but then what would you do when you at a
later stage when you realized you wanted snmp support in your project?
And so on... I'm not saying it can't be done - it should be done, but
it is tricky to get it right (at least it was).

But, a good packaging system would be great, I would really like a
more modularized distribution and from Kenneth it seems that it is on
the way - great! But given that, I really don't see how your
(i.e. Jocke:-) other ideas (apart perhaps from new language
constructs, and without branching off the Erlang/OTP code base which
no-one including yourself seems to think is a good idea, I don't see
how it could be done) would require a new distribution? If people got
together to write good documentation with more web inspired examples
that would be great, and talks promoting Erlang as a COPL is also a
good thing!

I say lets work on making the existing distribution better and
complement it with as much external resources as we can. A more
systematic way of dealing with patches from the community by the OTP
(as has been suggested before) would be great. Another idea for the
OTP team: maybe a list of things that you feel needs work, but is
currently not being worked on by the OTP group (due to lack of time or
whatever). Hmm, I vaguely recall that there used to be such a page on
erlang.org with future project ideas or whatever... Well I don't know,
I'm just rambling here... :-)

My 2c worth et.c. et.c.

/Sebastian



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