[erlang-questions] Robustness problems when using records [WAS: Re: Question/Alternative on Frames Proposal [Warning: Long]]

Matthew Evans <>
Sat May 19 20:32:34 CEST 2012


Agreed,
We are making use of Ulf's exprecs module for this precise reason.
Matt

> Date: Sat, 19 May 2012 17:26:01 +0200
> From: 
> To: 
> Subject: [erlang-questions] Robustness problems when using records [WAS: Re: Question/Alternative on Frames Proposal	[Warning: Long]]
> 
> On 05/18/2012 02:21 AM, Tom Parker wrote:
> > ....
> >
> > Where I think we would vehemently agree: I expect Erlang to be robust.
> > That's why I'm even here. An issue with records where you can compile
> > two files (using the same .hrl) and end up with a result that (a)
> > compiles, (b) doesn't produce an error and (c) produces the wrong
> > answer... is a serious issue. It distinctly shows the shortcomings of
> > records.
> 
> Not really related to the frame discussion, but I would like to point 
> out that the above statement is wrong. The situation you describe does 
> not show shortcomings of records; instead it shows shortcomings of 
> programming with .hrl files and without an appropriate 'make'-like 
> utility to track dependencies between files.
> 
> Records are not without problems, but IMO this is not one of them. This 
> is a problem of using .hrl files and choosing to program in a way which 
> is not disciplined and thus error prone. There is a very simple way of 
> avoiding this problem that IMO is a very nice way of programming: Use 
> records as abstract data types and have them in a single module that 
> exports appropriate getters and setters for manipulating fields of the 
> record. If, for whatever reason, you do not like this way of using 
> records and want the ability to perform pattern matching and field 
> extraction in more than one module as you do today with records, better 
> make sure you use an appropriate Makefile (or equivalent) for compiling 
> your application. It's not the fault of record syntax if you do not use 
> such a mechanism! (Makefiles are technology of the 70's after all...)
> 
> Kostis
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