[erlang-questions] Any Erlang Devs Contemplating Elixir?

Robert Virding <>
Sun Mar 6 05:13:20 CET 2016

I think if you seriously want to push macros then LFE, or any other lisp
for that matter, is a much better option. It is much more straight-forward
and readable. It also gives you the option of creating new syntax which
Elixir macros don't. Elixir has a slightly "lax" syntax which allows you to
hide that everything is a function call but you can't create new syntax.

Of course some people lisp doesn't actually have any syntax but I prefer to
view it as being very simple and very consistent. :-)


On 26 February 2016 at 22:27, Onorio Catenacci <> wrote:

>> Message: 16
>> Date: Fri, 26 Feb 2016 18:28:05 +0000
>> From: Andrew Berman <>
>> To: Erlang Questions <>
>> Subject: [erlang-questions] Any Erlang Devs Contemplating Elixir?
>> Message-ID:
>>         <
>> >
>> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="utf-8"
>> 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
> Hi Andrew,
> While there may be other considerations you want to keep in mind, there's
> one, to my mind, major point that's been neglected in the discussion of
> using Elixir: macros.
> I have been led to understand by people far more familiar with Erlang than
> I am that in order to use certain behaviours from OTP one has to write
> boilerplate code for several callbacks whether one wants to modify the
> behavior from defaults or not.
> Elixir's macros allow the library to provide default implementations for
> these callback functions.  Of course a developer can override the defaults
> if needed but not having to code what I don't need strikes me as a big
> advantage--especially if we're discussing a new developer who doesn't
> already know either Erlang or Elixir.
> I say this with full awareness that Elixir's macros are a good thing and a
> bad thing too because it seems that every noob Elixir developer on our
> mailing list wants to use macros everywhere.  That and every noob seems to
> be convinced that the pipe forward operator (|>) just has to be used
> _everywhere_.
> I can certainly understand the thinking of folks who are familiar with
> Erlang. I feel the same way when people ask me why I never learned Java (I
> do C# for the day job).  Why would I bother?  But for new developers I do
> believe the fact that they can use OTP without having to worry about
> creating a lot of boilerplate code is a significant advantage.
> By the way,  I've never written a line of Ruby in my life and I still need
> to get round to looking at Phoenix. Not everyone looking at Elixir is a
> Ruby developer looking for a more scalable Ruby on Rails--although in
> fairness there are a lot of them.
> --
> Onorio
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