Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Erlang R12B Released

New version of Erlang out today - release notes here.

For newbies like me, a big reason to upgrade is the much improved error reporting in the Erlang shell. For example, here's how the previous version reports a divide-by-zero exception:

Eshell V5.5.5  (abort with ^G)
1> 1/0.
** exited: {badarith,[{erlang,'/',[1,0]},
{erl_eval,do_apply,5},
{shell,exprs,6},
{shell,eval_loop,3}]} **

=ERROR REPORT==== 5-Dec-2007::23:32:41 ===
Error in process <0.31.0> with exit value: {badarith,[{erlang,'/',[1,0]},{erl_eval,do_apply,5},{shell,exprs,6},{shell,eval_loop,3}]}
New version:
Eshell V5.6  (abort with ^G)
1> 1/0.
** exception error: bad argument in an arithmetic expression
in operator '/'/2
called as 1 / 0
Better!

I ran into one small hitch building the new version on my Mac, namely a "libgd not found" error while running "./configure". I installed version 2.0.36RC1 from here, which did the trick:

http://www.libgd.org/releases/

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Periscope: An Agile Dashboard

My colleagues Ben Erickson and Ben Feng have put together a nice little tool for tracking progress on Agile/XP projects, called Periscope. The idea is that you can use Jira (or potentially some other tool) to track your stories, and Periscope will occasioanally read that data, combine it with your build results, and generate reports indicating how far along you are.

It's still in its "alpha" stage, but I'd recommend checking it out.