Erlang 17.0: Supporting Deprecated Types Without Removing warnings_as_errors

Erlang 17.0 deprecated some pre-defined types like dict() and gb_tree() in favor of dict:dict() and gb_tree:tree(). The workaround they suggest (nowarn_deprecated_type) works in 17.0, but would break once the deprecated types are removed.
Not using nowarn_deprecated_type means that you can’t use warnings_as_errors, because it would make deprecation warnings an error.

A rather nice solution to this issue an option that rebar takes: platform_define.

It is also possible to specify platform specific options by specifying a pair or a triplet where the first string is a regex that is checked against the string

OtpRelease ++ “-“ ++ SysArch ++ “-“ ++ Words.


OtpRelease = erlang:system_info(otp_release).
SysArch = erlang:system_info(system_architecture).
Words = integer_to_list(8 * erlang:system_info({wordsize, external})).

This allows us to set a namespaced_types option on 17.0+ only.

{erl_opts, [
  {platform_define, "^[0-9]+", namespaced_types},

In your source files you can then check if the option is set and define an (internal) type accordingly.

1 -ifdef(namespaced_types).
2 -type xxx_dict() :: dict:dict().
3 -else.
4 -type xxx_dict() :: dict().
5 -endif.

I learned about this trick by looking at how meck handles Erlang 17.0 support.