[erlang-questions] Introducing Erlang

Simon St.Laurent <>
Wed Jan 30 14:24:57 CET 2013

Introducing Erlang, a 200-page tutorial on the language you all (mostly) 
love, is now shipping from O'Reilly:


It's a shorter, cheaper, and deliberately more basic book than the other 
great Erlang books out there.  I very deliberately set out to write a 
book that would get readers started, and make it easier for them to read 
the other books.

Most readers of this list already know and understand the material it 
covers, but it may be useful to you as a way to prime developers who 
haven't explored Erlang (and may be put off by the notion of functional 
programming).  It moves step by step through simple concrete code, 
teaching the fundamentals of the language.

Bruce Tate noted that "Erlang makes hard things easy and easy things 
hard."  Introducing Erlang walks readers through the "easy things hard" 
part and gives them a glimpse of the promised land of "hard things 
easy".  Once they're done with this book, they should have a foundation 
that will make it much easier to move on to other excellent books and 
documentation to figure out more of process-oriented programming and 
Erlang's data processing capabilities.

I wrote this book in a different way from most technical books: I wrote 
it while I was learning Erlang myself, instead of afterwards.  My hope 
is that it will better reflect at least one easily followed learning 
path.  Thankfully, I had excellent detailed review from Steve Vinoski 
and Fred Hebert along the way, and I need to give Fred extra thanks for 
reviewing this while he was in the final stages of work on Learn You 
Some Erlang for Great Good!

The book is designed primarily as an ebook, though a print version is 
available.  The ebook nature of it will make it easier for me to make 
changes over time, adding (and correcting if necessary) material, with 
readers getting automatic updates. I do, however, want it to stay short, 
ideally as unintimidating as the giant red flying squirrel on the cover.

Thank you all for Erlang and the conversation here, which has been very 

Simon St.Laurent

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