[erlang-questions] some language changes

Ulf Wiger (TN/EAB) <>
Wed May 23 16:39:08 CEST 2007


I started playing with the idea of being able to define
modules pretty much the same way as records are handled
in the shell.

For example:

1> md("
-module(foo).
...
plus(A,B) -> A+B.
").
{module, foo}

2> foo:plus(1,2).
3

But a few stumbling blocks made me abort the effort
(that, and my bus ride ended, and I had to hop onto
my bike - I've yet to learn how to program while 
riding a mountain bike).

One problem is that epp is not willing to take 
just a stream of bytes (this has been discussed
before on this list), but desperately wants to 
read a regular file.

Another problem is that the shell is decidedly 
line-oriented, so it doesn't look like I sketched
above, but rather:

1> md("
1> -module(foo).
1> ...

And you cannot move the cursor up a line, making it
cumbersome to edit the code in this mode.

It may still be worth it, though.

BR,
Ulf W

> -----Original Message-----
> From:  
> [mailto:] On Behalf Of Mike Berrow
> Sent: den 23 maj 2007 16:21
> To: Erlang (E-mail)
> Subject: Re: [erlang-questions] some language changes
> 
> ok wrote:
> > On 21 May 2007, at 8:10 pm, Joe Armstrong wrote:
> >> 1. What you type in the shell and what you type in a 
> module/escript 
> >> should be the same
> > ... 
> > This has never been the case in Smalltalk, and nobody seems 
> to notice 
> > any problem.
> > ...
> 
> I've used Smalltalk and I've been making a living programming 
> in Ruby for the last 18 months. Now that you point that out, 
> it is one of the large advantages that Ruby has over 
> Smalltalk w.r.t experimentation / prototyping / learning curve
> 
> > It has never been the case in Prolog. 
> > ....
> Is Erlang tied to Prolog in this?  If not, why does that matter?
> 
> > And that's a really important point.  Joe is suggesting that the 
> > Erlang shell should be changed to make it easier for beginners to 
> > shoot themselves in the foot, instead of learning practices 
> that will 
> > help to keep them out of trouble.  I cannot think that a good idea.
> 
> I've found the transparency between the interactive shell and 
> source environments in Ruby to be nothing but a huge boost in 
> productivity.
> I've never had this "shooting myself in the foot" effect 
> because of it.
> If there is something intrinsically different about the 
> Erlang world that makes it dangerous, I would appreciate it 
> if you could elaborate.
> 
> Thanks much,
> -- Mike Berrow
> 
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