[erlang-questions] Any Erlang Devs Contemplating Elixir?

Adam Rutkowski <>
Fri Feb 26 22:41:36 CET 2016


Hi Andrew,

As a die hard, long time Erlang fan, who recently switched to Elixir full-
time I can probably share my perspective. For the past 6 or 7 months I
have been writing Elixir code for a Ruby shop seeking their way out ;-)

At the beginning it was extremely tough. Needless to say, I have never
written a single line in Ruby before, I was unfamiliar with Rails (some
of the concepts/terminology obviously was transferred to Phoenix), and
everything seemed just plain weird since I got very accustomed to the
rough obviousness of Erlang/OTP.

The switch wasn't easy for me -- at least I had the OTP part
figured out.

But as I soon found out, expecting Elixir to be "Ruby on BEAM" is an
oversimplification. Today I think it's a very nicely designed language
combining more than just that.

Plug is brilliant, definitely brings Clojure's Ring to mind. Think
easily accessible, composable cowboy middlewares. They're really fun to
build and easy to test.

Ecto is *the* killer app. Being able to abstract my postgres schema with
ease is something I always craved in the Erlang world (not to mention
the gazillion of epgsql forks). Today I can use postgres almost to its
full potential. PG views transparently map to predefined structs, arrays
& maps (jsonp) are supported via type casting, the query interface is
again, composable and powerful (borrows from LINQ) and doesn't do any
magic you would expect from popular, "classic" ORMs. Migrations works as
expected, rolling back a schema change requires no effort.

Protocols (again, Clojure?) and modules, that can be aliased and
selectively imported allow you to nicely organise large codebases into
logical chunks of responsibilities.

In general, I fear not anymore. Elixir is well tested, carefully crafted
and evolves very dynamically. I still love Erlang, but I don't think I
made a mistake of trying Elixir out in the real world. I like its
expressiveness and the fact that there's still OTP available for me to
use. It's fun.

Cheers & happy hacking,

/A.


On Fri, Feb 26, 2016, at 19:28, Andrew Berman wrote:
> Hey Fellow Erlangers,
>
> I was curious if any of you guys have switched or are contemplating
> using Elixir for your next project. I've been programming Erlang for a
> while now, but I'm about to start a new project and wanted to see
> where other Erlang devs stood on it.
>
> Thanks,
>
> Andrew
> _________________________________________________
> erlang-questions mailing list 
> http://erlang.org/mailman/listinfo/erlang-questions


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