[erlang-questions] Specifying 'erts' as an application

Robert Virding robert.virding@REDACTED
Tue Apr 26 22:51:34 CEST 2011

Looking at what is in ERTS I would actually hesitate to call it an application. ERTS is the actual implementation of the Erlang language containing the emulator and BIFs. Most of the BIFs should also be considered to be part of the language, spawn, link, etc are just as much part of Erlang language as case/receive/! even though they don't have any special syntax. We didn't see the need of giving them special syntax when a function interface worked just as well. (would end up with an enormous number of weird character combinations to no purpose)

It also contains some, very few, modules which must be preloaded to get the erlang system running at all.

So, I would not call ERTS an application. Having it in an application list is basically saying to run this I need Erlang, which is a bit unnecessary. It would be interesting to see what would happen if someone defined a proper application called erts.


----- "Ulf Wiger" <ulf.wiger@REDACTED> wrote:

> I will venture a guess.
> ERTS was perceived from the beginning as the "master environment" in
> which applications ran, but has increasingly come to be treated as one
> of several applications. From that perspective, it's not unreasonable
> to think that it could be named as one.
> OTOH, 'erts' is actually a perfectly valid application name, so one
> may assume that there is some user out there who has defined such an
> application, and is referring to it in a thousand different places
> ;-)
> BR,
> Ulf W
> On 25 Apr 2011, at 13:10, Kostis Sagonas wrote:
> > About three weeks ago, I posted the following question but got no
> answer so far.  Let me ask it differently in the hope that I will now
> get some reaction.
> > 
> > Is there any good reason why the erts application does not have a
> .app file as all other OTP applications (e.g. kernel, stdlib, etc.)
> have?
> > 
> > If there is no good reason, can it please be added?
> > 
> > Kostis
> > 
> > Kostis Sagonas wrote:
> >> The Erlang/OTP documentation specifies 'erts' as an application:
> >>  http://erlang.org/doc/applications.html
> >> In a project we are working on, we have an application resource
> file that reads:
> >>  {application, APP_NAME,
> >>   [{description, ...},
> >>    ...
> >>    {applications, [erts, kernel, stdlib, ...]
> >>    ...
> >>   ]}.
> >> A user informed us that "erts isn't actually an application that
> can be dependent upon and that having it in the applications list
> breaks releases".
> >> I personally consider this a bug, of Erlang/OTP that is, but I will
> gladly be enlightened why 'erts' is listed as an OTP application but
> cannot be listed in the application resource file and releases break
> miserably when one does so.
> >> Kostis
> >> _______________________________________________
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> > 
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> Ulf Wiger, CTO, Erlang Solutions, Ltd.
> http://erlang-solutions.com
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