[erlang-questions] user interface, xml, configuration files, reflection

Taavi Talvik <>
Mon Sep 3 18:09:58 CEST 2007


On Sep 3, 2007, at 5:45 PM, Hugh Perkins wrote:
> There are some things that I'm used to being able to do in C#.  What
> are the options for porting these to Erlang?  They are:
>
> - user interface.  Mostly I use a web interface, because it makes it
> easy to update, nothing to distribute to users' machines.  Thoughts
> for user interfaces in Erlang?

Probably thing erlang is missing is user interface builder for web
(something like glide, or mac interface builder) which is integrated
with erlang server side backend (yaws, yaws+ajax etc.).

Backends are available - just shiny front is missing.

> - xml and / or configuration files.  In C# I store configuration in an
> xml file which I read at program start, and write as it changes.
> Reflection handles reading/writing to the xml file automatically

Xml is overhyped - It's just putting things in angle brackets, after  
all. ;)

Erlang file:consult/1, file:eval/2 and io:format/3 also accomplish  
reading-writing
of structured information. Although no verification, but this is almost
always application specific.

Standard erlang application behaviour uses config files based on  
plain erlang
terms. See app(4), application(3).

In erlang you can store configuration in plain text file containing  
erlang data
structures.

> - reflection.  Reflection is *very* powerful.  It takes a lot of the
> tedium out of programming, letting one concentrate on the interesting
> bits.  What are the options for reflection in Erlang?

Behaviours and custom behaviours. Look for example

	http://ftp.csd.uu.se/pub/papers/masters-theses/0178-ekstrom.pdf

paragraphs 7.2-7.6, behaviours for observer, communicator, tokenizer  
etc.

best regards,
taavi




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