The important part is not the code: it is the upper part with classes, protocols and methods. Programming with Smalltalk is actually creating meaningful class's names, meaningful methods names and organize them into self explicatory protocols. Jeez, those guys understood every thing 30 years ago!!
Squeak Smalltalk code browser

Erlang IDEs could benefit from a Smalltalk-like browser for messages, I believe.

However, some considerations would have to be made. First, Erlang supports not only synchronous messages (RPC) between objects (processes), but also asynchronous messages (default in Erlang), which have no equivalent in Smalltalk. Also, neither messages nor protocols need to be declared explicitly in Erlang.

Alas, not all is lost. It might make sense to consider OTP applications first, because it is easier to extract message declarations from them. Additionally, ErlAna from Mario Joussen extracts the communication structure of distributed Erlang programs. This method could as well be used to provide browsing facilities.

I wonder whether Distel could be extended with such a protocol/message browser.

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