[erlang-questions] Parameterized module idioms

David Mercer <>
Tue Apr 20 17:17:55 CEST 2010


On Tuesday, April 20, 2010, Vlad Dumitrescu wrote:

> * Personally, I don't think it's a good idea to try to graft features
> on a language, for which it wasn't designed from the start. Most of
> the time the result is an ugly hybrid. It feels a lot better to
> implement different languages targeting the platform, each matching a
> different style.

I agree, preferring a small, succinct language to a larger language
providing many ways to do things (e.g., Scheme vs. Common Lisp).  A smaller
language results in a smaller set of more common idioms that are easily
recognized and understood by programmers.  It also reduces the barrier to
entry for new programmers, who can easily grasp the whole language and
easily read other people's code sooner.

I would advocate, therefore, keeping parameterized modules on the fringes,
without official blessing.  By withholding official blessing, it makes
programmers consider alternative -- more common and idiomatic -- ways of
doing things.

Steve Davis described a couple of months ago why he has tended to convert
parameterized modules to unparameterized modules over time:
<http://www.erlang.org/cgi-bin/ezmlm-cgi?4:mss:49602:aicfhmngkhodmclhlnak>.
That was actually an interesting thread on this subject, and I gained some
good insight into the use of parameterized modules.

Cheers,

DBM



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