[erlang-questions] Tools was The quest for the perfect programming language for massive concurrency.

Zachary Kessin <>
Mon Feb 3 17:19:40 CET 2014

On 2/3/14, 5:15 PM, Vance Shipley wrote:
> I do a lot of work with communicating finite state machines.  I like
> to see these as state diagrams.  Message sequence charts (MSC) are another
> viewpoint we use a lot.  I have over the years developed some techniques
> to generate these graphical representations from my own Erlang programs.
> In 2001 I experimented with parsing my modules into Abstract Forms and
> wrote a program which found the state transitions in gen_fsm behaviours.
> It output Graphviz DOT files which could then be viewed and manipulated
> in other tools.  OTP ships with the 'et' tool which can create MSCs from
> executing programs.  The 'observer' presents supervision trees on a
> running system as a directed graph.  These are all actual graphical tools
> which I find add to my understanding of my work in significant ways.
Well this does bring up a good point, if there are tools like this that 
would be helpful then lets
talk about what types of tools people might find useful and how to 
create them.

I like the idea of a tool that can take a gen_fsm and generate a visual 
diagram of the states and the transforms. Maybe
even do something like the Webmachine debugger where you could have 
something that would plot how a FSM moves threw its
states to understand what is going on.

Erlang has some great tools, but that is no reason why we can't have more

Zachary Kessin
Mostly Erlang Podcast <http://mostlyerlang.com>
Skype: zachkessin
Twitter: @zkessin <http://twitter.com/zkessin>
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