[erlang-questions] Why do we need modules at all?

Robert Raschke <>
Tue May 24 16:41:28 CEST 2011

On Tue, May 24, 2011 at 3:07 PM, Joe Armstrong <> wrote:

> On Tue, May 24, 2011 at 3:38 PM, Max Lapshin <>wrote:
>> I don't understand what are you speaking about.
>> How do you imagine this magic function namespace in terms of plain files?
> There are no plain files. The functions that you edit and manipulate are
> stored in a database.
> When you need to call a library function you query the database it helps
> you find the function
> you need from the data in the database - you never know the real name of
> the function or anything about
> the namespace it's in.
> The problem with plain files is that they become unmanageable when there
> are lots of them.
> A few years ago I had problem with storage - disks weren't big enough - now
> I have TBs of
> raid storage and the next problem arises - how to find stuff. Finding my
> own code is difficult -
> it's just a matter of searching 43 K erlang modules on my local disk -
> finding other peoples
> code is worse - Google and "ask a friend" is the best solution I know of.
> As systems get very large the notion of files and modules seems to break
> down, to be
> replaced by "search-able stuff in a database" - I'm suggesting that the
> smallest unit that
> should be searchable/reusable/discoverable should be the function. And that
> to make it
> searchable we need to add a lot of meta data to the functions.
For some reason this reminds me of a cross between Smalltalk and Eiffel.

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