[erlang-questions] Why do "interface to language X" projects all seem to die out?

Kostis Sagonas <>
Thu Sep 1 20:36:45 CEST 2016

On 08/31/2016 04:18 PM, Matthias Lang wrote:
> Hi,
> Pretty much all of the "not built in to OTP" ways to connect to other
> languages seem to have died, i.e.
>    - EPI (C++). Last commit 2009.
>    - py_interface (Python). Last commit 2014. Freshest of the lot.
>    - edtk (C). Last release 2007.
>    - dryverl (C). Last release 2008.
>    - erlua (Lua). Project page dead. Author's email is dead.
>    - erlualib (last commit 2010). Github-linked company page dead.
> Can anyone offer some experiences or ideas why?
> Could it be that these types of solutions are rarely needed? Maybe
> NIFs are unbeatable for the "narrow interface, no state, high
> performance" cases and port programs with hand-rolled interfaces most
> of the rest.

FYIW, we have developed Nifty [1], a NIF interface generator, i.e. a 
tool that automates the process of creating NIF libraries from C header 
files containing declarations of types and functions that the C library 

Among other features, Nifty provides support for dirty schedulers and 
support for safe execution via separate Erlang node.

Its code is since 2014 on GitHub [2].

A talk and paper titled "The Nifty Way to Call Hell from Heaven" will be 
presented at the Erlang Workshop in late September 2016.

Comments, suggestions for improvements, pull requests, etc. are welcome!


[1] http://parapluu.github.io/nifty/
[2] https://github.com/parapluu/nifty
[3] http://parapluu.github.io/nifty/erlang16-preprint.pdf

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