Dumb question on erlang ports

Jean-Sébastien Pédron jean-sebastien.pedron at dumbbell.fr
Fri Aug 3 14:18:11 UTC 2018

On 8/3/18 2:06 PM, John Parkey wrote:
> Hi


> Sorry to bother you, but I am coming back to doing some erlang dev work on
> freebsd, after a while away.

Great! :)

> I am a bit confused by there being erlang-runtime ports for versions 20 and
> 21, but the main erlang lang port is at version 19.3.  Presumably version
> 19.3 cannot be used to develop stuff which runs on 21?  If not, what is the
> rationale for the existence of the later runtimes?

Having all the erlang-runtime-* ports allow use all of them while
working with Erlang as you guessed.

If the main lang/erlang port is still at Erlang 19.x, it's probably
because we need to be 100% sure all services depending on Erlang are
working with newer Erlang releases. I can speak for RabbitMQ for
instance and it took time to add support for Erlang 20 and even more for
Erlang 21.

Back to the development experience (I work on RabbitMQ itself), I use
Erlang 19 as my day-to-day environment. I use erlang-runtime-{20,21} to
test changes with newer versions. I don't have to recompile anything
because the compiled modules are forward-compatible. If the main port is
updated to e.g. Erlang 21, I would have to override $PATH to change the
default back to Erlang 19 or recompile to test + maybe change the code
to not rely on Erlang 21 features.

That said, I agree that the Erlang ports would benefit from FLAVOURS.

Jean-Sébastien Pédron

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