Saturday, November 17, 2007

Easy Erlang compiling with TextMate

Today I created a custom command for easy Erlang compiling with TextMate. Errors (if there are any) are popping up hyper-linked on a HTML window, and if you click on them, you get straight to the file and line with that error.
This is work-in-progress and just compiles the current file. The following features will be added in future versions:

- only compile modified files
- parse Emakefile if available, otherwise:
- crawl directories to figure out src, include and ebin folders.
- code reload if node is running

Monday, November 12, 2007

Which Javascript library ?

Update: Simon Willison's Javascript library slides, which where embedded at this place, are not accessible any more, so I took out the embedded slide show.

If it is just about pepping up a webpage with some AJAX and some flash-imitating eye-candy, any of the popular Javascript will serve similarly well. But when it comes to full fledged web applications, the dojo toolkit is leading the pack. Vance Dubberly shares the same vision and today he has provided a detailed answer on the dojo mailing list, why he is choosing dojo:
Because it's an application development framework. Most of the
javascript libraries out there serve some special purpose, Ext is a
gui toolkit, Prototype is a util library, and everything else is
pretty much the same. Dojo holds a special place in the community in
that it provides a unified framework for developing applications in
javascript. What I mean by this is that it provides everything from
simple utility classes to full implementations of design patterns.
Dojo helps me organize my application layout, debug it's output, and
prepare it for distribution.

Drawbacks? The most glaring one is the horrible documentation. It's
gotten a lot better but it's still neither consistent, clear, nor
complete. The documenters are working mostly API style docs. The dojo
book reads like a brick wall. The project is badly in need of some
"Here is how to accomplish (X) style docs" Despite this the pay off is
high for those who invest the time and suffer through the exponetial
increase in 4 letter words coming from between their lips.

The widgets are a nice bonus but I gotta tell you I used it before .9
and wouldn't touch the widget system because it was heavy, slow, and
well, annoying. ( no longer an issue ) It has much to offer beyond
widgets. Take a look through the dojox directory ...

Large file sizes aren't really an issue anymore, and what's better is
that you can if you choose, optimize your builds to include only what
you want in the dojo.js file.

Oh and one last thing, a thing which I think is often overlooked. The
Dojo foundation isn't simply building a javascript library. They spur
and drive innovation in the community often developing or incubating
break through technology. This kind of behavior deserves to be

Sunday, November 11, 2007

First step in adapting Textmate for Erlang

I have been using Textmate for two weeks now, for all my coding needs, my productivity has increased (I know, all the real good programmers use Emacs or Vim, so I am not one of them). Today I spent some time on starting a little side project: improving Textmate Erlang integration. I have created templates with skeletons for a general Library module and also for the the following OTP behaviors:
  • application
  • gen_server
  • gen_event
  • gen_fsm
  • supervisor
  • supervisor_bridge
The module header details such as author, license, etc. can be specified via environment variables.
There is a long way to go, to create a complete Textmate bundle and reaching an Erlang integration as provided by Emacs. If anybody wants to join, you are welcome. An feel free to use the templates and adapt them to your own needs:

Download: Textmate Erlang templates

Note: if you set environment variable TM_MY_LICENSE to "MIT", then the MIT license gets included in the header as comment (more open source licenses to be added). Other custom environment variables I use: TM_MY_EMAIL and TM_MY_WEBSITE. You can set them in the preferences.