A Fresh Start

The last few months have been pretty well occupied with personal stuff – a long trip back to New Zealand, and the arrival of a new baby in the family. Not surprisingly, swirl has been on the back burner during this time.


The break gave me ample time to think about what I’m hoping to achieve with the project, and how best to move things along, as progress has been slower than I would like in and around life and family.

Pragmatically I’m getting around 3-4 hours a day of focused work time in, and this has changed the timelines quite a bit. To that end I will be completing the design documents first and then organising some additional Erlang help to move things along.

This Week

Most of this week has been occupied with new baby related things, but in and around that, I’ve integrated the excellent edown documentation library into the project, and set it up to produce the very pretty API pages. These are generated directly from the Erlang code, and there are still quite a few rough edges in there to clean up due to missing or invalid tagging on my part. I’m really pleased with the results however, as they include both data types and function docs in a very readable fashion.

Current State

Work to date has been around the overall structure of the application, in particular what I think of now as the “Core” of swirl - the OTP processes or daemons that own and manage the state for the given peers, swarms, and the corresponding channels that weave them together.

This is largely complete, although some changes will inevitably be required as the other modules are done, the overall structure should remain the same. See the OTP supervision guide for the full story.

Unfortunately this work isn’t specifically in the original NLNet grant, however doing it has really crystallised my thinking around what data and state needs to be managed, and what can be maintained or used within a given process.

Next Up

This and next week’s focus is to take the current codebase and turn it into a design document for the other components to build off and refer to.