[erlang-questions] Any Erlang Devs Contemplating Elixir?
Sat Feb 27 12:28:52 CET 2016
On 02/26/2016 09:21 PM, José Valim wrote:
> But I may not be representative. Last time I counted I've
> used around 40 languages in anger over the years, yet
> I find Ruby bewildering.
> I am not sure Ruby is relevant here. Elixir is not Ruby (and it could
> never be in the Erlang VM). Elixir also isn't about Ruby syntax (the
> same way Erlang isn't about Prolog syntax).
Rationally, Elixir is not Ruby, and Erlang isn't Prolog. Irrationally,
it is. Elixir has the same look and feel as Ruby, and Erlang has the
same look and feel as Prolog.
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.
Same goes for Erlang and Prolog. In fact a few days ago a few long-time
Prolog developers pointed out the exact same thing when they were
talking about Erlang. There is this familiarity that smoothes them in,
even though the languages are fundamentally different.
The thing is, if you have to convince large groups of people, you need
to appeal to their irrational mind. As Scott Adams brilliantly pointed
out, identity beats analogy beats reason. If you want to convince people
to come to Elixir, you need to appeal to their identity, which is why
targeting Ruby on Rails developers is your best bet. If you don't then
you're just wasting valuable time and resources.
I've pointed out a few years ago that Elixir was for Ruby developers. I
didn't know why at the time. If you look at the most recent survey
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.
Stop fighting it. Use it to bring more people in.
Author of The Erlanger Playbook,
A book about software development using Erlang
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