Just having read Paul Mineiro’s article The Need for Language Specific Packaging I finally see a solution for erlang software packaging that I like. I have mostly ignored all the people asking for an Erlang version of things like Perl’s CPAN. And that goes for the existing efforts, such as erlware and CEAN.
The reason I have ignored it is because I dont see myself using yet-another-tool-for-installing-software. I have been quite happy using the ones from linux distributions I know. You seem to be able to add third-party-vendor package repositories for both redhat’s dot-rpm and for debian/ubuntu dot-deb files. The problem then are “those other people” that use macs or windows or whatever.
So my take from reading Paul’s article is that what we need is a format for describing the package, so that tools can be made to automatically build package files for each package system in existance now and in the future. We do not need our own distribution system, our own package file format, our own software update system, and our own documentation.
The file could probably be something simple as a single main package description, then one file with specifics for each package file-format target. Everything in convenient file:consult/1-able text formats.