[erlang-questions] Erlang documentation -- a modest proposal

José Valim <>
Wed Sep 28 11:42:04 CEST 2016

> Here are some examples:
> https://www.dropbox.com/s/0eleru83ya6oscg/Screenshot%
> 202016-09-28%2011.29.10.png?dl=0
> https://www.dropbox.com/s/x8hg3qyfje0jpmc/Screenshot%
> 202016-09-28%2011.29.53.png?dl=0
> https://www.dropbox.com/s/8c15as0cvu46gy0/Screenshot%
> 202016-09-28%2011.31.27.png?dl=0
> https://www.dropbox.com/s/0xrqtuhjblixnjb/Screenshot%
> 202016-09-28%2011.32.33.png?dl=0

Also worth pointing out that the colors and style used by the inline
documentation can be customized by creating a file named ~/.iex.exs. You
don't need to stick with the colors and formats in the screenshots above.
This is documented in the IEx module itself. Since colors have been a
concern throughout this discussion, I thought I would mention it upfront.

Another advantage of the approach above is that you get the shell
autocomplete when looking for help. For example, you can type "h String.",
hit tab, and it will list all String functions so you find the proper one
you want help on.

One big disadvantage of the shell one is that we don't have the page
scrolling commands you get with man pages. However, this is a solvable
problem, and could be solved by adding document reading features to
Erlang's shell. I did a prototype at some point but never made it into a
pull request.
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