[erlang-questions] Code complexity and encapsulation

Suraj Kumar suraj.kumar@REDACTED
Mon May 19 10:50:05 CEST 2014


I'm attempting to build a system whose engineering challenges will
classically benefit from the so-called Object-Oriented Programming
paradigm: Specifically, that of encapsulation. However, the real complexity
of the problem is that there are going to be millions of objects 'existent
in space and time' simultaneously.

The problem domain is analogous to a drawing system: There is a 2D 'canvas
onto which several different types of 'shape objects' can be fit into. Once
they are all placed on the canvas, it is required that the canvas gets to
know all the shapes which seem to coincide with point P (x, y co-ordinates)
(or must do similar natured querying of all the shapes without being aware
of their details). To find this, the canvas has to ask each shape, in an
agnostic/implementation-independent way, whether the object "is_on_point

Thus far, I've gone about modeling each 'shape' as one 'record' in Erlang.
I've written some 'utility' functions to determine types of various
records. I've also written boilerplate logic in the 'canvas' class to check
types and then call appropriate functions. I've also introduced a major
convention hell which new programmers will have to understand if they want
to add a new type of shape to the system.

Is there a cleaner way of modeling this? Should I be using OTP instead of
looking for a way to do this in native Erlang? If yes, what would you
suggest is a good supervisor/worker-process model so that such
encapusulation and complexity can be achieved? Any examples I can look at?



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Skin without any Onion underneath.

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