Decoupling the Windows GUI from werl.exe

James Hague <>
Thu Jul 14 16:07:12 CEST 2005

The Windows front-end to Erlang is built into the werl.exe executable.
 I'm talking about the GUI that lets you enter expressions, see
results, change the font, etc.  (For non-Windows users, this necessary
because the standard command-line terminal window is fundamentally
crippled in several ways.)

My question is "Why can't this GUI be decoupled from the BEAM
emulator?"  werl.exe could just as easily open a socket to communicate
with an external application.  That application could be written in C#
or Delphi or even potentially Erlang itself using a GUI toolkit.  The
advantages are that all of the GUI code can be removed from werl.exe,
plus it opens the door for GUI front-ends to be much nicer (different
colors for input and output, for example).  Additionally, the GUI
could be modified without having to install a full cygwin suite.

Is there an obvious reason why things can be structured this way?

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