[erlang-questions] Why we need a -module() attribute?

Steve Vinoski <>
Mon Feb 22 03:28:24 CET 2016


On Sun, Feb 21, 2016 at 8:38 PM, Loïc Hoguin <> wrote:

> Regardless of the technical merits of one or the other solution, when
> developing software it's generally a good idea to listen to what you users
> want, and this Nth topic about -module should be a clear indication that
> the current situation is not what many users want.
>
> It doesn't matter if you think you are technically correct, because you
> defend a point of view that many people do not care about. All solutions
> have their strong and weak points, and enough people are annoyed by the
> current solution's weak points (the mandatory -module attribute) to create
> topics every couple months. People tend to want different things, so when
> so many people agree on something it's time to take notice. This happens a
> lot less than you'd think.
>

I don't recall seeing this topic come up "every couple months". Can you
provide pointers to the various threads where this has come up so often,
other than this one, to back up this claim? Google searches of erlang.org
and searches through stackoverflow.com don't turn up much at all on this
topic.

In general it's also a good idea to remove as many steps as possible to get
> code up and running, if only to give the illusion of Erlang being a
> productive language, as this attracts newcomers much more easily.


Over the years I've heard reasons for people avoiding Erlang, but I
personally have never even once heard someone say they didn't want to use
Erlang because of the burdensome -module attribute.


> Erlang is the most productive language I've seen (in large parts due to
> readability and low maintenance) but it's doing a terrible job showing it.
>
> We often say Erlang makes hard things easy and easy things hard. Perhaps
> it's time to seriously consider making easy things easier. This is the best
> way to get more people in. But I get the feeling not everyone wants that,
> considering how little effort is spent on that end (maps happened, but it
> seemed more like a miracle than anything).


IMO that statement is rather insulting to those who've put a lot of time
and effort into designing and implementing maps. It's not at all a simple
problem.

If having an optional -module attribute is that important to you, write a
pull request.

--steve
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