[erlang-questions] Erlang newbie questions

Gerry Weaver gerryw@REDACTED
Tue Oct 18 22:11:18 CEST 2011

Hello All,

I want to thank y'all again for the extremely helpful information and explanations. I must say I am pleasantly surprised by the objectivity in many of your responses. I too, am much more interested in using the "right tool for the job".

I have been doing quite a bit of experimentation with Erlang and OTP. I find myself at a point where I definitely want the Erlang tool in my toolbox. I can see several instances on both past and future projects where Erlang could have been, or would be, a pretty interesting choice. Having said this, I want to come up with a good project that would afford me the opportunity to dig in a lot deeper. One thing that I think is missing from the big Erlang picture, is a good development environment (IDE). I know that there are a few attempts at this, but they are not really what I'm looking for. I think the best way to describe what I want, is something like QtCreator/C++ Builder. I originally didn't think much of these tools, but I have found the productivity boost they provide very useful. When I think about the things that would need to be done to make such a tool for Erlang, I believe it
could give me insight into several things I would like to know a lot more about. I think it could be a good driver to push me into learning those things. When I consider some of the Erlang specific things like C nodes, Toolbar, etc., I imagine a very interesting project. I realize this may be somewhat ambitious, but regardless of the ultimate outcome, I really don't see the downside of trying. So... to that end...

What would be the best/recommended way, in Erlang specific terms, to integrate with the Erlang VM. I would think that the ability to reset the VM to a fresh state, start and stop processes, Monitor processes, etc. etc. would be important beyond the normal compile/run functions. I guess what I'm really asking here is just some general advice about what a tool like this would look like in Erlang terms. I intend to use Qt as the gui toolkit. It would allow me to cover all of the most import platforms. I am very interested in any thoughts y'all have about this. I intend to start laying the foundation for this straight away. Another big motivating factor is the fact that I would like very much to have a tool like this for my own use. The code editor, Erlang shell, Toolbar combination is usable, but it would be nice to pull all of these things together in one interface. 


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