[erlang-questions] erlang for programming a text editor

Jayson Vantuyl <>
Sun Nov 1 06:54:14 CET 2009


Ted,

Well, if I were doing this, I probably wouldn't do it in Erlang.  Text  
handling in Erlang is byzantine at best, so an editor very well could  
be an exercise in pain.

I wouldn't bet that Erlang's good distribution / parallelization would  
offset the rest of the trouble.  I'm unsure how production-ready it  
is, but Reia might make certain bits easier, just due to its string  
handling alone.

JRuby or Clojure might be a better fit just because Java has MUCH more  
mature Unicode handling and syntax highlighting.  I don't know of  
anything for Erlang that even tries to do syntax highlighting,  
although you could probably get a good start on the parsers with  
Neotoma.

In any case, I wish you the best of luck.  It's good to see people  
trying to tackle useful problems with the right tools.

On Nov 1, 2009, at 12:31 AM, Ted Henry wrote:

> With 100 core chips probably coming to desktop computers in the near  
> future,
> I wonder about writing a multiprocess vi-like or emacs-like text  
> editor
> (probably more emacs-like in implementation.) Sometimes single  
> threaded
> editors really bog down when searching multiple files, syntax  
> highlighting
> multiple files. I'm not that knowledgeable in the Erlang world. It  
> seems
> like Erlang's fault tolerance and ability to upgrade code without  
> restarting
> would not be big advantages for a text editor. Also a text editor  
> isn't
> usually distributed across multiple physical machines. I think the  
> main
> advantage would be Erlang's processes for concurrency. Would Erlang  
> offer a
> good advantage over a programming language with software transactional
> memory (e.g. Haskell, Clojure)? Would *you* use Erlang to program a  
> text
> editor or desktop application?
>
> Very interested to read your thoughts.
>
> Ted


-- 
Jayson Vantuyl








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