Rebar is a popular build tool for Erlang projects. It simplifies the build process by automating compilation, testing, and packaging of Erlang code. Rebar is written in Erlang and uses Erlang’s own build system to build itself.
Rebar was developed by the Erlang Solutions company in response to the need for a more user-friendly and configurable build system for Erlang projects, as the traditional approach of using makefiles and scripting was cumbersome and inflexible. Rebar provides a set of predefined tasks (commands) for building Erlang applications, such as compile, test, clean, release, and more. These tasks can be customized or extended by writing plugins.
Rebar supports various types of Erlang projects, including applications, libraries, releases, and plugins. It also integrates with popular tools like EUnit, Common Test, Dialyzer, and EDoc to provide a comprehensive development environment. Rebar also has built-in support for dependency management, allowing developers to specify and download required dependencies from various sources, such as Git, Mercurial, or Hex (the Erlang package manager).
One of the key features of Rebar is its support for hot code reloading, which allows developers to update and reload modules without restarting the Erlang VM. This is particularly useful for building systems that need to be continuously running and updated, such as web servers or distributed systems.
Rebar has become a widely used tool in the Erlang community, with many open-source projects using it as their default build system. It has contributed to the popularity of Erlang as a language for building scalable and fault-tolerant systems, as it simplifies the development and deployment process, and allows developers to focus on the business logic of their applications.
In conclusion, Rebar is an essential tool for Erlang developers, providing a modern and extensible build system for developing and deploying Erlang applications. Its features and ease of use have made it a favorite among developers and contributed to the growth of the Erlang ecosystem.