[erlang-questions] what is point of having a .erlang file?

Jesper Louis Andersen <>
Mon Jan 21 16:34:46 CET 2019


On Mon, Jan 21, 2019 at 1:53 AM Sam Overdorf <> wrote:

> What is the point of having a".erlang" file if I have to run
> "c:erlangrc()" in all of my programs.
>
>
Usually, it is to have a set of development changes and configurations to
the Erlang system. There might be some helper functionality you wrote for
yourself, or tend to use in projects you want to check out. Rather than
having to add them to each project, it is somewhat easier to configure them
from a central point. This is also, roughly, its historical usage to my
knowledge.

However, it is a doubly edged sword, insofar it also means that the
software you run has local configuration and setup. If more than one
developer works on the same set of software, the local configuration can
mean the software doesn't run without the .erlangrc specific configuration.
To a large extend, the focus on standard tooling such as Continuous
Integration/Continuous Deployment seek to alleviate this. An even more
modern approach is to always build everything the same way scratch such
that the software is built in a reproducible way with idempotence as well.

My experience is that the more these (admittedly functional
programming-like) ways of handling software builds are adapted, the easier
it gets to work on software.
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