Emacs as Erlang IDE for newbies

Michael Turner <>
Wed Dec 23 09:55:24 CET 2009


2009/12/22 Garrett Smith <>

> If you just want to teach the language, any editor that supports
> syntax highlighting for Erlang should be fine. You are talking about a
> full featured functional language - anyone using Erlang really should
> be more than capable of figuring out how to use a text editor. Sheesh
> :)
>

egarrulo:
Why should a newbie be fine with just a syntax-highlighting editor?
Newbies
do need more help from tools, not less. I maintain that an easy way to
compile and run projects and a source-level debugger are vital.

me:
I'm starting to think that's the best choice for now -- no need to call
it an editor, just say "here's a program that helps you write, change
and run Erlang programs."  Later on, they might realize they were
tricked into learning something about this thing called an "editor".

egarrulo:
If you want to keep it basic, you could setup an IDE with
Emacs+ErlangMode+Distel and adjust it to your needs (no need to learn
Emacs
for that).

I'm considering throwing FlymakeErlang and Wrangler in, too.

On the face of it, Wrangler might seem a strange choice -- for, surely,
refactoring tools are for Real Programmers?  But maybe not.  Maybe
beginners should have them at the beginning.  Some common refactorings
are very simple, like "change this function name everywhere."  I wish
I'd had that when I was starting out.

As for Flymake, I really don't buy this idea that syntax error messages
from the Erlang shell are now adequately clear.  Hardly a day goes by
that I don't have to peel myself off the ceiling, shouting, "'Syntax
error before: &'?!  Be specific!"  I want to know more.

And so will noobs.

-michael turner


More information about the erlang-questions mailing list