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

Anthony Molinaro <>
Tue May 24 20:33:58 CEST 2011

I'm wondering if a wiki, and an interface to construct a module (similar to
those available for javascript libs like YUI/JQuery), wouldn't get you most
of what you want.

So I imagine being able to share individual functions from your own
misc lib, and then constructing misc libs with the set of functions
you want, maybe when the addition of a module name.

This means you can still use the module name as a method of encapsulation
but you can construct a module from a collection of functions.

You might even make it such that you can start to define modules in a
local file via a description language or set of compiler directives as
well as providing a web interface for constructing these modules.

So maybe you could do something like



And that would be the definition of the lists2 module in your codebase,
it could pull the functions from the shared repo at compile time.  If
you want to be safe you could version everything and pull in particular
versions or hide the url construction, and instead have a proplist you
set values in.

At the very least this allows you to share functions and work with
pre-existing code.

Just a thought,


On Tue, May 24, 2011 at 08:16:20PM +0200, Joe Armstrong wrote:
> On Tue, May 24, 2011 at 6:54 PM, Tom Murphy <> wrote:
> > On 5/24/11, Parnell Springmeyer <> wrote:
> > > In practice though, I would really hate maintaining the metadata for
> > > every function I've wrote! I much rather group common functions into a
> > > module and then annotate the module with metadata.
> >
> > Ideally, it wouldn't just be just you maintaining the metadata - if
> > the functions were in the centralized DB, others could suggest or make
> > changes, wikipedia-style.
> >
> This did occur to me - the wikipedia allows large numbers of people
> to make small contributions. Think of what I want as a wiki where each
> entry is a single erlang function.
> >
> > Tom
> > _______________________________________________
> > erlang-questions mailing list
> > 
> > http://erlang.org/mailman/listinfo/erlang-questions
> >

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Anthony Molinaro                           <>

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