[erlang-questions] What problem are we trying to solve here? [was Erland users group [was re: languages in use? [was: Time for OTP to be Renamed?]]]

David Welton <>
Fri Feb 21 10:45:26 CET 2014

Of the things I've used over the years to deal with packages, I think
I've been the happiest with dpkg and friends, mostly because of the
attention to detail of the package maintainers (not always, but
often), and the desire to do things properly (not always, but often).

Ruby Gems works ok as a way of packaging up stuff for that
environment, technically, but is sometimes undercut by the rapidly
moving world of Ruby where people simply pay less attention to
compatibility issues as they race forward.

So: like many things in the world of programming, it is both a
technical and a social problem.  The technical solution does not have
to be perfect, but it is important to create a good culture around
what gets packaged up and how.

Rebar works ok, but were Erlang ever to get popular, I'm not sure
github would continue to appreciate it.  Ruby gems' downloads used to
be hosted there, until github got tired of it and asked that they be
moved elsewhere.

One important question is whether people want a model with a bunch of
shared, centralized installations of software (this is what Debian
aims for with their packaging system), or whether each project that
gets built includes everything it needs in its own little world.  I
suspect the latter is more suited to Erlang in any case.

David N. Welton



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