Erlang + Emacs = Fun

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As part of learning Erlang I needed a decent editor. I tried using vi but it just didn’t have the right level of integration. So I’m now using Emacs and it seems to be a pretty good fit. I’m by no means an advanced Emacs user and I’m sure there are plenty of cool things you can do with Erlang but I you need to start somewhere.

So here is the configuration for getting an Erlang emacs mode, drop it into your .emacs file.

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(setq load-path (cons  "/opt/local/lib/erlang/lib/tools-2.6/emacs"
                       load-path))
(setq erlang-root-dir "/opt/local/lib/erlang")
(setq exec-path (cons "/opt/local/lib/erlang/bin" exec-path))
(require 'erlang-start)

I’m using the Erlang installed by MacPorts, which installs into /opt/local, adjust the path for local conditions.

A few useful commands to get you started:

C-c C-z (erlang-shell-display) - Start, or switch to, an inferior Erlang shell.
C-c C-k (erlang-compile)       - Compiles the Erlang module in the current buffer.
C-x `   (erlang-next-error)    - Move the point on to the next error.
C-c C-c (comment-region)       - Comment or uncomment each line in the selected region.

where C is Control and the second element is a letter pressed at the same time.

All the features of the Erlang mode are described by switching to Erlang mode (M – erlang-mode) and describe the mode (M – describe-mode), where M is the Meta key. Usually the Alt or Option key on a Mac.