[erlang-questions] Re: Distributions of Erlang-coded SW on Windows (really)

Benjamin Tolputt btolputt@REDACTED
Fri Aug 14 11:05:06 CEST 2009

Michael Turner wrote:
> Look, this was a serious question about packaging, not quality or, for
> that matter, open source ideology.  <snip...> Packaging matters.
> as a "platform".)
> Windows is not going to vanish tomorrow.  It's probably got another 15
> years in it.  Packaging Erlang-coded applications so that they seem to
> be regular full-fledged Windows apps might smack of treason to some, but
> it might also help push Erlang into the mainstream of programming
> practice.  And I don't see how that hurts anybody here.

I whole-heartedly agree with the above. Erlang/BEAM is a powerful
platform that could have a wide variety of uses. In fact, I believe the
idea of a quick & easy packaging method is something that would benefit
Windows & Mac OSX users (my current client application targets).

That said, others have achieved this without serious difficulty. For
example, check out Wings 3D - one of the most intuitive mesh modelling
applications I've had the pleasure to use. It use Erlang, as the
original authors were quite enamoured by the language, and runs on
Windows, Linux, & Mac without issues.

Perhaps what you are after is something more automated than their
method, but there are ways to deploy applications in a quick & easy
fashion for Windows platforms :)

> So if somebody has an actual *helpful* answer to these sorts of
> questions, count me among the interested.  After all, I want real users
> for what I write, and most of them will be on Windows, and I don't want
> to ask too much of them, or they will go away.

And this is where I start to disagree. Not so much with your desire to
get more helpful answer, but with the idea that applications not running
on Windows boxes are somehow less important than those running on other
platforms (if that was not what you meant by "real users" than I

Erlang/OTP is, by design, a platform best suited to running servers.
Client applications generally don't need to be running thousands of
processes (with the possible exception of games - my particular
interest), so the primary benefits are lost. Not that they aren't useful
or such like, just that the benefits Erlang can provide give best "bang
for your buck" on server architectures :)

As such, I've found Erlang developers are less worried about the ease of
initial deployment (especially on Windows platforms) because it is not
that common an occurrence for them. Updating an existing deployment on
the other hand is a well explored topic.


Benjamin Tolputt
Analyst Programmer

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