Saturday, December 5, 2009

Erlang and Github

Erlang/OTP is now officially maintained under the Github repository, since the release R13B03. I think this is a milestone for the language, because the Ericsson development team finally decided to show the interim results of what they are doing for the time being.

One of the characteristics I like about Erlang is that the language specification and libraries have been maintained by a single entity called Ericsson's Erlang/OTP Development Team. I do not want an anarchy for computer language and operating systems. I prefer BSDism than Linuxism in this sense; I think pieces of code should be rather controlled by the core people while sufficiently accepting improvements from the other developers.

The old Erlang/OTP daily snap archives, however, are no longer sufficient to catch up with the daily development cycles. And many non-Ericsson authors have put in their patches into Erlang, including mine. So there had to be some systems to accept user feedbacks.

Using an open repository system such as Github is a wise idea for incorporating new code into Erlang/OTP, and showing the official status of modifications. Git is flexible enough to allow per-user and per-purpose branches. And Github allows forking between the users. The Ericsson's Team doesn't have to build and publicize its own code repository system for Erlang/OTP, which will cost them significant amount of human and financial resources.

And now I have an official requirement to learn Git; to catch up with the Erlang/OTP development cycles.