[erlang-questions] Adoption of perl/javascript-style regexp syntax

Ulf Wiger <>
Tue Jun 2 14:18:23 CEST 2009


As an ex-representative of large software development projects,
I too think that home-grown syntax pre-processing tools are
very hard to control on a large scale. Having done my share
of parse transform modules in this sort of environment, I can
testify that anything that departs from regular erlang syntax
and semantics has a tendency to trigger stress reactions in 
people. 

One obvious reason is that practically all code written in 
these projects will be inherited and maintained by other 
people (a rule of thumb is that 80% of the cost of a 
program is in the maintenance phase), and a significant
portion of the work reading and trying to understand the 
code will be by first- and second-line support people in
other locations, without access to the build environment.
All non-standard syntaxes and programming conventions 
increase the cost and tends to reduce the effectiveness
of first- and second-line support.

BR,
Ulf W

----- "Vlad Dumitrescu" <> wrote:

> Hi,
> 
> On Tue, Jun 2, 2009 at 01:51, Richard O'Keefe <>
> wrote:
> > In the mean time, may I respectfully point out to something that
> > seems pretty much kindergarten level to me, but doesn't seem to
> > be taught effectively:
> >
> >    PROGRAMS ARE DATA.
> > ........
> > A trivial AWK script can recognise this and turn a <here-file> into
> > a string literal, generating whatever quoting is necessary.  All
> you
> > have to do is write less than a page of AWK (once), and then tell
> > your build tools how to turn .erl-hf files into .erl files.
> 
> As a programmer I like this way of handling this kind of issues
> because it works now and it's easy.
> 
> As developer of a source handling tool I can't help but cringe at the
> prospect of getting requests to support all kinds of homegrown
> syntaxes...
> 
> Another problem with external processing of the source files is that
> it is at the same level as the preprocessor, which many people would
> like to see replaced with one that understands Erlang code.
> 
> best regards,
> Vlad
> 
> ________________________________________________________________
> erlang-questions mailing list. See http://www.erlang.org/faq.html
> erlang-questions (at) erlang.org

-- 
Ulf Wiger
CTO, Erlang Training & Consulting Ltd.
http://www.erlang-consulting.com


More information about the erlang-questions mailing list