[erlang-questions] Erlang analysis and refactoring: In Erlang or for Erlang?

Kenneth Lundin <>
Sun Jun 10 22:31:00 CEST 2007


Hi Joel,

I think it is very natural to write refactoring and analysis for
Erlang in Erlang.
- There already exist many different parsers, scanners and refactoring tools
for Erlang written in Erlang so it is easy to reuse and improve
starting from these.
- It is easy to maintain and it is portable over every platform where
Erlang runs.

The weak point is Erlang and graphics for the presentation and input
(most of the actual work is really independent on graphics).

There is ongoing work on a Wxwidgets binding for Erlang which looks
really promising. With this it would be possible to write the whole
graphics in Erlang and get nice native look and feel for Mac OSx,
Windows, Linux, Solaris .....

I think that approach has a potential to attract a broader audience
than something
working only on Mac OSx which I understand is the case with Cocoa.

Another approach for refactoring tools is to use Eclipse (it is Java, I know).
There is already a project ErlIde http://erlide.sourceforge.net/ where
there are some refactoring capabilities and more to come. Note the
Erlide plugin is
written in both Java (mostly GUI parts since it is needed to take advantage of
the Eclipse architecture) and Erlang (the analysis, scanning, parsing etc.)

/Kenneth (Erlang/OTP team at Ericsson)

On 6/8/07, Joel Reymont <> wrote:
> Folks,
>
> I'm trying to decide whether I should use Erlang to write a analysis
> and refactoring tool for Erlang (think IDE), or should use Lisp or
> OCaml and connect to the Erlang VM.
>
> The complication is that Mac is my target platform and there's no
> Cocoa bridge for Erlang. LispWorks for Mac has a bridge and Lisp is
> nice for writing compilers and language tools. I also believe that
> the last Erlang refactoring tool was written in SML.
>
> Any suggestions?
>
>     Thanks, Joel
>
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