Thursday, January 17, 2008

Hypernumbers whitepapepr: comparing Erlang and LAMP web stacks

Using Erlang In A Web Start-Up is a whitepaper (PDF) by Gordon Guthrie, pointing to advantages from the business point of view when choosing Erlang.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

ErlyDTL - the Django template language in Erlang

I have been working on a new template language called ErlyDTL. Let's compare it first with the other, established players in the Erlang open source template languages field:
  • ErlTL by Yariv Sadan. ErlTL is used in ErlyWeb and therefore probably the most popular Erlang template language. It exposes the full Erlang language to the template author, that is good, if the template author is an experienced Erlang developer, but bad, if the template author does not know Erlang. ErlTL compiles templates to beam files.
  • sgte by Filippo Pacini. An Erlang implementation of StringTemplate. Enforces separation between model and view. Templates get evaluated at runtime. Used at erlware (if you install the erlware launcher, sgte is one of the core packages used internally for the various erlware templates)
  • ErlyDTL by Evan Miller and myself: based on the Django template language. It does not expose Erlang to the template author, it compiles templates to beam files, pre-renders as much as possible at compilation time and supports a lot of features such as template inheritance, presetting variables at compilation time, automatic HTML escaping and lots of Django tags and filters. But it is not feature complete yet, just the more important tags and about half of the django filters are currently implemented.
If you wanna learn more about ErlyDTL, check out the code or take a look at the examples, there are a bunch of ErlyDTL demo and test templates at he googlecode project and also the resulting, rendered output files.

Update: There are more Erlang template engines out there: seethrough which is specifically for XML/XHTML and internally uses xmerl to do its magic. It is rather simple compared to the others, but depending on the use case that can be an advantage.

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Sunday, January 13, 2008

CodeMirror - an AST aware in-browser code editor

I have been following for a while now the development of Javascript based code editors and web IDEs (see here and here), I even started to build one myself, because I thought there is no such AST aware editor out there, at least until I discovered codemirror, which comes with support for Javascript and HTML, and with support I mean it has a real parser (and a CSS file for syntax highlighting) for those languages. Marijn Haverbeke, the author of this masterpiece of functional Javascript programming has released today a new version, which makes it easy to integrate it with a different Javascript libraries (codemirror itself uses MochiKit).

Codemirror has the following features:
  • syntax highlighting
  • automatic code indentation of current line on pressing TAB or RETURN
  • if some code it selected, automatic indentation of current selection on pressing TAB
  • works with all common modern browsers
  • highly configurable: additional languages, performance settings, etc.