Longstanding issues: structs & standalone Erlang

Fredrik Thulin <>
Thu Feb 16 09:04:44 CET 2006


On Thursday 16 February 2006 01:12, Douglas Philips wrote:
> On 2006 Feb 15, at 3:12 AM, Fredrik Thulin indited:
> > On Wednesday 15 February 2006 08:19, Douglas Philips wrote:
> > ...
> > Packaging modules/whatever that usually gets installed via some
> > other packaging system like for example CPAN is _incredibly_
> > difficult and frustrating. It makes it easy to install something if
> > you have the time
> > to log into each server where you want that something installed,
> > and run a command or two, but it makes it waay more complicated to
> > manage things on a larger scale.
>
> I don't see how you can avoid that, since you have to run the
> packaging install commands on each machine, right?

Well, no. It is all about _not_ having to log in to each machine. Either 
you can have something like cron-jobs that fetches all packages you 
want installed from somewhere, and installs them, or you effectively 
execute them from the same set of binaries made available via some kind 
of networked file system. This is what we do - we use AFS.

In both these cases, the common part of the problem is the packaging. 
You need to distribute binaries, or instructions about how to generate 
binaries in some way. It is impractical to have to have one way to do 
this for regular programs (like KDE, the Erlang/OTP installation, your 
other favourite applications) and for programs that install "inside" 
any of the others (like CPAN for Perl, or some Erlang way to install 
Erlang applications).

I am guessing now, but I think lots of people in the Erlang developer 
community more or less only care about the Erlang part of this problem, 
whilst I want to be able to install Erlang applications in the same way 
that I am already installing all the _other_ applications that I 
(really 'we' at Stockholm university) care about. I'm sure this is also 
important to all the UNIX distributions, which package perhaps 4000 
UNIX applications (amongst which Erlang/OTP is one) in a shell/makefile 
based way already.

So if we want our Erlang applications to be available to Erlang-users, 
then an Erlang-way to install those applications is the right way. If 
we want our Erlang applications to be available to everyone, then a 
more standard way of installing things is the way to go. I firmly 
beleive that this standard way for UNIX systems is "./configure && make 
&& make install", and for Windows it's a single file executable 
installer.

...
> > [1] Open source, but apparently not advertised. In our subversion
> > repository if anyone is interested.
>
> Yes, googling "Stockholm buildIt" (without the quotes of course)
> didn't find it.
...
> what not), so I am very curious to see what buildIt does!

The anonymous subversion repo is at svn://anonsvn.it.su.se/buildit/.

  $ svn co svn://anonsvn.it.su.se/buildit/ buildit
  $ cd buildit
  $ ./setup.sh
  $ ./pkg_do erlang R10B-9

/Fredrik



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