[erlang-questions] IPC bus for Erlang?

Steve Davis <>
Thu Apr 2 14:06:25 CEST 2009

Hi Camille,

I've been working on a library that does much of what you describe. It
wraps for the cross-platform GUI library 'wx' that appeared in R13A
release of Erlang/OTP.

This interface runs the UI as a separate process (a gen_server), it
allows you to specify the application GUI in XML which makes it very
easy to design/modify/update. It allows you to pass in a callback
module to use for the UI issued commands. So it's pretty close to your
design target.

The problem is that I only started development of this library less
than a month ago, it's as yet unfinished, and as yet badly documented
as it's a work in rapid progress.

However you may wish to keep an eye on:


I'm hoping to have a documented and tagged stable release of this
within a month (to coincide with the stable release of Erlang/OTP R13B
from Ericsson).


On Apr 1, 7:12 am, Camille Troillard <> wrote:
> Hi,
> I would like to build a desktop application in which user interface and core
> process (Erlang) would be separated.  I also need it to be as much portable
> as possible.  The idea would be to base the user interface on WebKit so it
> can be easily customized, and a lot of people know how to build web
> interfaces already.
> The different solutions I have found so far:
>    - use Mochiweb/Erlycomet <http://code.google.com/p/erlycomet/> on the
>    Erlang side, and dojo/cometd <http://dojotoolkit.org/> (aka "Ajax server
>    side push").
>       - Pros: very generic, based on JSON, runs in any browser
>       - Cons: not efficient at all, can't build a real desktop
> application.<http://www.freedesktop.org/wiki/Software/dbus?ref=darwinports.com>
>    - D-Bus<http://www.freedesktop.org/wiki/Software/dbus?ref=darwinports.com>
>    :
>       - Pros: Cross-platform, supported by Qt and there is also javascript
>       bindings<http://sandbox.movial.com/wiki/index.php/Browser_DBus_Bridge>
>        (named JSCoreBus<http://sandbox.movial.com/gitweb?p=browser-dbus-bridge.git;a=blob;f=j...>
>       ).
>       - Cons: the Erlang
> implementation<http://sourceforge.net/projects/dbus-erlang/>seems a
> bit old / not maintained.
>    - Leverage Erlang built-in communications system and make the WebKit a C
>    erlang port itself.
>       - Pros: Almost no work no the Erlang node side.
>       - Cons: no WebKit plugin for setting up an Erlang port in
>       Javascript exists yet. Not as generic as the two other options.
> I have ruled out the first idea (Erlycomet), because of the poor performance
> I got for the initial tests ; this is really something for the web, not the
> desktop.  D-Bus seems alright, but is perhaps overkill, and lacks support…
>  So, I am seriously considering the third option, for its simplicity.
> Do you have other suggestions for a IPC bus that would make the link between
> Erlang and Webkit?
> I would also be happy to learn about your experiences on creating desktop
> applications with Erlang.
> Best,
> Camille
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