[erlang-questions] Ways to get started

Ahmed Al-Saadi thaterlangguy@REDACTED
Tue Jul 12 01:03:15 CEST 2011


The thing is, for any significant project, you *will* need a development 
tool chain either to reduce complexity, automate tasks, or simply 
because someone else is using a tool in their project which you'd like 
to build. Here, I use the term "tool chain" loosely to describe all 
tools that you *could* use to develop software, not in the strict 
compiler tool chain sense. These typically include (not an exhaustive list):

* Source Control: Git, Mercurial, Subversion, ...
* Build Managment/Automation: Rebar, GNU Make, Buildout, Rake, CMake, 
SCons, ...
* Text Editor: vim, emacs, textmate, ...
* Preprocessors/Compilers: erlc, gcc, javac
* Virtual Machine/Runtime: erl vm, CRuby, CPython, java vm

The last three are all you need to use Erlang. But the first two are 
critical for any serious project.

Maybe what you are looking for is for someone to guide you through an 
example development environment, complete with using a tool from each of 
the categories above. However, it's rarely that there is a default 
toolset for any language and developers/engineers will use what they 
like (and will change often). I use Mercurial/Git, Make, Vim among other 

I suggest you look up the basic use of each tool separately. Sure it 
takes time, but you don't have to master each to be productive. For 
example, I don't have to understand the three different types of Make 
variable assignments to compile a package by typing: ./configure; make; 
sudo make install.


On 7/11/11 1:41 PM, pmacgown@REDACTED wrote:
> The biggest problem that I am running into is that my Unix sys admin 
> experience 10+ years ago doesn't help much.  Using Git, Rebar, and 
> even make is a steep hill for me to travel.  I've been through 
> numerous tutorials and documentation and there is this massive body of 
> knowledge that I just don't have, or these tutorials just assume you 
> know.
> I get Erlang. That's the easy part.  It's just the underlying 
> development structure and environment that gets in my way.
> Is there a real 101 that can give me a leg up?  Really basic questions 
> like:
> How do I get Erlang from github?  Where do I put it once I get it?  
> How does rebar fit into this picture?  What does a development cycle 
> look like using these tools?
> Really Really basic stuff.
> --Peter
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> *From: *"Garrett Smith" <g@REDACTED>
> *To: *"Isaac Sanders" <isaacbfsanders@REDACTED>
> *Cc: *erlang-questions@REDACTED
> *Sent: *Monday, July 11, 2011 12:59:09 PM
> *Subject: *Re: [erlang-questions] Ways to get started
> On Sat, Jul 9, 2011 at 7:18 AM, Isaac Sanders 
> <isaacbfsanders@REDACTED> wrote:
> > Hello all! I am a rubyist looking for more information on erlang, 
> and I was
> > hoping to find some resources... If you would be so kind as to let 
> me know
> > any that have helped you.
> In addition to the books and the online resources mentioned...
> I find it helps to pick a project that you'd be comfortable solving in
> another language, then tackle it in Erlang. Solve mini problems as you
> go. Ask questions here.
> I find http://erldocs.com/ helpful as a reference.
> Garrett
> P.S. Come to think of it, I don't know if
> http://www.erlang.org/doc.html was mentioned. None of the books are a
> substitute for that.
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