[erlang-questions] Any Erlang Devs Contemplating Elixir?

José Valim <>
Sat Feb 27 13:14:16 CET 2016


>
> When Ruby developers look at Elixir they feel right at home. If you call
> yourself a Ruby developer, then you identify with certain values from Ruby,
> many of which can be found in Elixir. It's familiar. Again, we are on the
> irrational level here.
>

You don't need to go to an irrational level to argue that. Elixir picks
some of its values from Ruby, as well as Erlang and Clojure. I don't think
anybody from the Elixir community is denying or fighting against that.

In any case, the "Elixir is not Ruby" is a valid disclaimer. Otherwise you
get people expecting it to be exactly like Ruby and have their expectations
violated and also people that completely dismiss it because they think it
will be exactly like Ruby.

If you look at the most recent survey (
> http://blog.elixirsips.com/2015/12/21/elixir-users-survey-2015/), you can
> see that Ruby developers dominate. Other languages are little more than a
> statistical anomaly. Clearly you bring in a lot more Ruby developers than
> any other combined, and the reason for that is identity.
>

The other languages *amount to 40% of the replies*. It is not a statistical
anomaly. And I would be really careful to put all of the reasoning on the
identity/irrational, although I agree it does play an important role. For
example, we should also consider that my biggest sphere of influence before
Elixir was the Ruby community. Those were the first developers I could
reach to, which in turn brought more developers from the same community,
and so on.

That's exactly why I would like to focus on other communities. We have
already attracted many Ruby folks which are now doing the work of
"spreading the word" more effectively than I ever would. Plus they have the
whole identity thing going on for them. Actively investing in other
communities is how we can bring more diversity into the language and ensure
it grows beyond a web-centric community.
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