[erlang-questions] Turning rebar into a package manager

Peter Lemenkov <>
Fri Oct 19 13:21:37 CEST 2012

Hello All.

2012/10/19 Joe Armstrong <>:
> Here is a programming exercise ...
> I think we can turn rebar into a package manager with 4 simple and one not so
> simple tweaks.

As a simple programming exercise - that's ok. As a something which
people would use - that's a horribly horribly bad.

Almost every language went through that stage - "we have a build tool
which is capable of fetching deps - let's replace package manager with
this shiny thing". So far we've got many different language-specific
build tools with an option to behave like a poor error-prone package
managers (for R, Haskell, Node,js, Ruby, Python, Perl, Go, Scala,
etc). None of them works reliably in a something more complex than a
developer's environment (which is messy by definition and that's
absolutely ok).

I briefly covered this topic during Moscow Erlang Factory Lite (if
someone is brave enough to stand my accent then you may even google
for the video) - here is a link to PDF with my presentation:

* http://peter.fedorapeople.org/presentations/Moscow_Erlang_Factory_Lite_2012.pdf

Before investing your free time into this project (again, if it's a
simply a mind exercise then it's absoluely ok, and I don't have any
objections in this very case) I strongly advise you to spend some time
studying features of a currently available general package managers -
deb and rpm. Perhaps integrating rebar with them could be a more
viable alternative than reimplementing their features.
With best regards, Peter Lemenkov.

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