[erlang-questions] Why Erlang/OTP binaries are available only for Win32 ?

Richard O'Keefe ok@REDACTED
Tue Nov 9 23:04:38 CET 2010

On 9/11/2010, at 6:36 PM, Icarus Alive wrote:
>> Let's see.  I have to worry about Mac OS X 10.5, Mac OS X 10.6, OpenBSD,
>> Solaris, OpenSolaris, Ubuntu 32-bit, Ubuntu 64-bit, Centos 32-bit, Centos
>> 64-bit, and Fedora.  Just how many sets of binaries do you expect to be
>> provided?  Then there are some older machines that would be fun to set
>> up, several PowerPC boxes and a couple of SPARCs.  How many sets of
>> binaries?
> Am new to the whole Erlang ecosystem (language, runtime, community,
> resources), so pardon me if this the expectation seemed excessive. For
> one single person building/maintaining so many variants is definitely
> a herculean task,

I didn't say that I *maintain* Erlang on such a range of machines,
only that this is (a subset of) the range of machines available to
me.  The software that I am personally developing, I *do* port between
those systems (and also Cygwin, but we were talking about Unix

In the third-year software engineering class this year, only 1/4 of
the groups managed to develop software that ported from Linux to Linux.
One of the *major* issues was 32-bit vs 64-bit.  People will tell you
that oh, it's no problem, you can run 32-bit programs on 64-bit
operating systems; what they _don't_ tell you is that this only works
if *all* the required 32-bit .so files are present, and no, sometimes
they are not.

> and I wasn't aware that it was so. My expectations
> were set by distribution of Python, Java, where the latest/greatest (&
> older) versions are available for most commonly used OS's... the
> mainstream Linux distros, FreeBSD, Solaris, Windows etc.

OK, let's try a specific example: JDK 7.

What do we find?
	Windows intel 32-bit
	Windows intel 64-bit
	Solaris SPARC 32-bit (presumably s10)
	Solaris SPARC 64-bit (presumably s10)
	Solaris intel 32-bit (will it work under OpenSolaris?)
	Solaris intel 64-bit (will it work under OpenSolaris?)
	Linux   intel 32-bit
	Linux   intel 64-bit
Do we find any version of Mac OS X?
Do we find any version of *BSD?
Do we find anything other than intel or SPARC (and would we find
SPARC if Sun/Oracle didn't make SPARC systems)?

Let's try another one.  Let's make it a functional programming
language that has been used to do exciting web-related stuff.

What do we find?
	Windows intel 32-bit
	Windows intel 64-bit
	Linux   intel 32-bit  (no IDE)
	Linux   intel 64-bit  (no IDE)
	MacOS   PPC   32-bit
Do we find any version for SPARC?  No.  (A long time ago...)
Do we find any version for Solaris?  No.
Do we find any version for *BSD?  No.
Do we find any version for Mac OS X?  No.
("MacOS" above appears to mean MacOS 9.)
When we download the "Windows and Mac complete sources",
do we find any instructions about how to build the thing?
Not that either.

It turns out that instructions for building on Mac OS X
*are* available on the Wiki for that project, since last
month, but they are not complete, and the process
(install a different version of gas, install another
program to convert gas output to something the operating
system understands, apply a lot of patches, manually
visit one directory after another, section "TO DO",
..., building the compiler "TO DO", ... ...
installing "TO DO") unpleasant.

Erlang is a *dream* to install by contrast.



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