yep, asdf is actually the preferred way to install it for us.
@bryanhuntesl I think installing Erlang and Elixir to your machine is a pretty straight forward ask if you want to use Elixir, right?
The main issues I’ve seen with installation problems is not following the asdf readme. There are a couple of steps that do make a difference. Also, the order as well, installing Erlang first (with a certain OTP version), then Elixir (with a matching OTP version).
I have seen issues where mixing brew with asdf caused some pain, but was never able to duplicate and folks resolved on their own after using asdf. Once folks started using only asdf, issues went away.
I generally start each project with a Vagrantfile that sets up a VM that will reflect my production environment (Ubuntu, postgresql etc) then I am good to go. And when I screw up my development machine I can just revert the file and rebuild the VM.
I also rebuild the VM pretty much every morning. I even have a make target that deletes all the build artifacts, and the existing vagrant VM and rebuilds it all from scratch. That takes about 10-15 minutes
If you’re using asdf I think the biggest pain point is installing erlang, since it installs from source and compilation takes a good 20+ minutes. I’m sure there’s others as well, but that’s my largest pain point.
There is another problem for me - differences in versions. In ASDF you need to be aware of the version of Erlang and version of Elixir that you are using. In most cases you can use Elixir compiles with older Erlang version, but other way around can fail. That is why I started using Nix, as it makes such mismatches impossible.
I’ve thought about this before - the long compile time for Erlang on a local box. Maybe something could be done to pre-compile Erlang for consumption by an asdf plugin. The only annoyance is the fact we can’t use the same docker infrastructure we use for RPM/Deb/AMD/86 Linux. Still maybe there’s an trustworthy OSX build service somewhere.
Only 20 minutes? That’s very nice, maybe I should try it sometimes. For comparison, I think Erlang/OTP has similar scope as OpenJDK, which will take hours to compile. I am willing to bet that nodejs is not going to be faster.
Hmm that’s an interesting point - asdf doesn’t have the concept of transitive dependency at all. There are analogues to the Erlang/Elixir situation too, Java/Scala is an obvious one that comes to mind.
From what I can tell, there’s a decent number of users on Windows, and the Phoenix team has made fixes specific to windows (npm not supporting --prefix comes to mind). So I’d expect development on windows to work fine.
We could add support for precompiled binaries to the asdf-erlang plugin. If a precompiled version is available on http://erlang.org/download/ we could just download it, and if not revert back to compiling Erlang manually. I know this isn’t the primary issue being discussed on this thread, but it could possibly help improve asdf-erlang support for windows.