From Erlang Community
Here I will gather some thoughts about metaprogramming in Erlang. Hopefully this will result in an implementation too (some parts have already been implemented). I put this here so that I can get input and the result will become a HowTo.
This is very much a work in progress. Please don't delete anything, just add your comments.
What is metaprogramming?
I won't go into the gory details here, there are plenty of papers on the matter. What I do mean by MP here is the capability of writing programs that handle programs.
Erlang has already support for MP. It is composed from two parts:
- the parse trees for Erlang code are regular Erlang terms
- through the parse_transform concept, one can manipulate a module's parse tree before it is compiled
This is enough for quite advanced applications, but has the disadvantage that it's quite unwieldy and thus few have ventured into that area. Ulf Wiger has written code to make development of parse transforms easier. Another issue is that one has to use Erlang syntax for all extensions, which might make them not so easy to read and use.
There are several areas where MP would be useful.
Handling Erlang code
The code associated with this HOWTO is available under a license to be defined.
Don't blame me if this stuff blows in your face or if your cat starts barking like a dog! :-)