Cleaning up Erlang code is a dirty job but somebody’s gotta do it

By Erlang Central | Published: June 22, 2009

The talk will present the design goals and current status of tidier, a software tool that tidies Erlang source code, making it cleaner, simpler, and often also more efficient. In contrast to other refactoring tools for Erlang, tidier is completely automatic and comes with a suite of code transformations that can be selected by its user via command-line options and applied in bulk on a set of modules or entire applications using a simple command. Alternatively, users can use tidier’s GUI to inspect one by one the transformations that will be performed on their source code and manually select only those that they fancy. We have had lots of fun trying out tidier on many open source Erlang code bases of significant size. In this talk I will report our experiences and show opportunities for tidier’s current set of transformations on existing Erlang code out there — possibly also on your code too! We will also describe programming guidelines for what we believe are good coding practices for Erlang.Tidier is a joint project with Thanassis Avgerinos.

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  • Kostis Sagonas

    HiPE compiler writer and tool developer
    National Technical University of Athens, Greece

    Kostis Sagonas is an academic who has been involved in the development of the Erlang language and its implementation since 1999. At Uppsala University, he has led the development team of the HiPE native code compiler. Together with his students he has contributed directly to various changes and additions to the Erlang language (e.g., bit-level pattern matching and bit-stream comprehensions, type and spec declarations, etc.) its libraries and runtime system support for concurrency. A hacker at heart, he has created widely used software development tools for Erlang, like dialyzer which by now has located literally thousands of bugs and software defects in Erlang programs. At NTUA in Athens, he has turned his obsession for clean designs and programs into yet another slick software tool for Erlang, called tidier, whose details are going to be unveiled for the first time at the Erlang Factory.

    • Kostis' old homepage at Uppsala University, Sweden
    • Kostis' newer homepage (with Greek letters!) at the
         National Technical University of Athens, Greece

    Kostis Sagonas

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