Packages in Erlang: new documentation

Richard Carlsson <>
Wed Sep 3 15:55:17 CEST 2003

On Wed, 3 Sep 2003, Luke Gorrie wrote:

> Do you have any real-program examples? From the spec alone packages
> seem to complicate things with no obvious gain. But perhaps seeing
> some pretty programs without "mymod_" strewn about them would provide
> the necessary temptation?

Alas, not yet. Maybe when I release the next version of EDoc.

> I suppose that etags and distel will both need updating to resolve
> package names if they're to work on such code.

Yes, and probably the emacs mode needs a little hacking by someone
who knows how...

> But it looks like you can fully resolve packages from the source file
> alone, thanks to excluding 'import_all' - is that right?

Yes. This was a design decision. You don't need to compile modules
together in order to make them work.

> In Java you can't do that, e.g. in:
>   import foo.*;
>   import bar.*;
>   ... {
>   }
> To resolve 'Baz' you need to go running around the code-path to see if
> it's in the 'foo' or 'bar' package.

And in Erlang, you could end up with some really strange runtime errors
if you recompiled the system with a code path that differs from the one
used by the original author or vendor. That's another important reason
why that kind of import is not available.


Richard Carlsson ()   (This space intentionally left blank.)
E-mail: 	WWW:
 "Having users is like optimization: the wise course is to delay it."
   -- Paul Graham

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