Longstanding issues: structs & standalone Erlang

Daniel Luna <>
Tue Feb 14 14:15:08 CET 2006

On Tue, 14 Feb 2006, Vlad Dumitrescu XX (LN/EAB) wrote:
>> To market Erlang better, I think we should like java have
>> both a development environment for erlang nerds and one other
>> much simplier way to install and run an erlang app.
> Just like Java has JDK (50MB) and JRE (16MB). A possible issue with
> distributing even a greatly compressed runtime with each smallish
> application is that it's going to be quite a lot of deadweight anyway.
> Have 4-5 such smallish apps lying around and there go something like
> 80MB... Disk space is cheap, but not that cheap, IMHO.

So how small must it become to be small enough?

I think that 16 MB should be easy to reach. My primary estimations puts it 
at about 5-10MB not including any libraries[*].

There are some solutions that would allow different programs to share 
parts of those MBs though.

> I would like to have something like JavaStart. An erlmerge that would be
> able to also download and install the runtime, if needed.
> Another variant would be to let code:load() access code repositories 
> over the net. This way one could install a really minimal runtime, and 
> libraries would be downloaded when used (code loader would of course 
> start a background download and later use the local copy).

This is actually a nice idea. I have been toying with it before and I 
had some thought on how to do it (let's see if I can remember any):

  - Some sort of authentication (Erlang cookies are not really enough)
  - Version control of the libraries (which version of "this" depends on
      what version of "that")
  - Preloading of libraries (to make the most use of even a slow
  - A way to package everything and put it on a computer without net access
      (smells like SAE)

Bad things:

You will have one copy per user instead of one copy per program. This 
could be worse in a multiuser environment.

Different programs want to have different versions of libraries. Could get 
really hairy.

[*] But since they are estimations I would expect them to vary around 
100%. Ok, so maybe I should say 5 - 15.

ps. If anyone is starting implementation of any of this, I want in.
Daniel Luna                  | Current projects:
 |  - Consulting in Rome
Yes, I'm one of those now.   |  - Learning Yaws
www.erlang-consulting.com    |  - SAE

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