[erlang-questions] Any Erlang Devs Contemplating Elixir?

Onorio Catenacci Catenacci@REDACTED
Fri Feb 26 22:27:13 CET 2016

> Message: 16
> Date: Fri, 26 Feb 2016 18:28:05 +0000
> From: Andrew Berman <rexxe98@REDACTED>
> To: Erlang Questions <erlang-questions@REDACTED>
> Subject: [erlang-questions] Any Erlang Devs Contemplating Elixir?
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> 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

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.


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