ErlIDE for low-memory machines

If you are like me and have been using ErlIDE only occasionally because of the memory requirements of Eclipse. To be absolutely honest ErlIDE added to Eclipse IDE for Java Developers runs too slowly for my tastes on my Mac mini. I felt like I would have to upgrade my RAM just to run it tolerably. This is due to a combination of Eclipse's gradually growing system requirements and my extreme performance expectations arising from using an 8-core 64-bit workstation with 8GB of RAM at work.

I took a minimalist approach knowing that Eclipse piles around twenty auxiliary features for useful, but non-essential (for ErlIDE) things like Java, ANT, web, CVS, XML and task-focused UI support. Basing my new ErlIDE on the bare Eclipse 3.4 Platform Runtime yielded a much snappier experience and significantly less physical and virtual memory usage.

So in summary, if you want a speedier ErlIDE on a lower-end machine do the following:

  1. Download Eclipse 3.4.2 Platform Runtime
  2. Run Eclipse
  3. Install ErlIDE through Help->Software Updates...
  4. Enjoy a (hopefully) faster, lighter ErlIDE