Meta-Erlang (was RE: Erlang vs Java revisited)

Vlad Dumitrescu XX (LN/EAB) <>
Wed Sep 28 15:35:02 CEST 2005


Hello,

> -----Original Message-----
> From: 
> [mailto:]On Behalf Of Richard A. O'Keefe

> Programs are data.  My big complaint about older IDEs is that 
> they encouraged people to think of programs as exclusively something 
> human-written, when our best hope of reliable software is to write as little of 
> it as possible.

Is it the IDEs that did that? 
 
> What would Template Haskell look like in Erlang?

Parse transforms are a kind of meta-programming, just not embedded in the language and quite clunky to use.

Since the compiler is readily available to any Erlang program, including itself, and the abstract syntax is already expressed in Erlang terms, I suppose it would be relatively easy to add some syntactic sugar through a parse transform to enable "proper" meta-programing.

The lack of static typing would mean that one should be extremely careful when writing and testing meta-programs, but probably just as much as when writing "normal" parse transforms.

I think it would be a very interesting area to explore. If only I could find the time...

best regards,
Vlad






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