My programming language learning path
  • C/C++
  • Java/Scala (SpringBoot/Play2/Vert.x/RxJava)
  • Swift/Objective-C (RxSwift)
  • Python (Django/Flask/Tornado)
  • Elixir/Erlang (Phoenix)
  • Golang
  • Javascript (Vue/Angular)
  • PHP (Laravel)
  • CommonLisp (Learning)
  • Rust (Will Learn)
Rules for learning a language
  • Must solve a problem
  • Problem not addressed by current stack
  • “Fast” is not a purpose
  • Should be the best solution

Type System

Evolution of Programming Languages


Evaluate programming languages

What’s the big deal with Elixir?
  • Ruby-like focus on developer productivity
  • Embedded database
  • Compiles down to code to run on the BEAM Virtual Machine
  • BEAM/OTP is what Erlang runs on
  • Erlang/BEAM is the best existing language for concurrency, consistency and fault tolerance, hot code swapping
  • Erlang does not focus on developer productivity
  • Problem in Ruby is concurrency model
So what does that mean?
Standard Web App
What’s the big deal?
  • Facebook paid $22 billion for WhatsApp
  • WhatsApp had $10 million in revenue
  • What was the big deal?
    • Erlang/OTP
    • 2 million users / server
    • No central relay point
    • Scales horizontally
    • Deploys w/o disconnect
Other languages
  • Boot up
  • Memory is shared
    • Where leaks come from
    • Changing shared memory requires a mutex lock
  • Garbage collector periodically runs
    • Pause entire stack
  • Requests run in threads in the same process
    • Threads are cooperatively scheduled
    • Deployment means shutting down current code, starting new code
  • No memory is shared
  • Data structures are immutable
  • Each Erlang process (basically a light thread) has its own HEAP
    • Reclaimed on completion
  • Code can be hot deployed
    • New code runs next time it’s accessed (existing code keeps running)
  • Processes are prescheduled
Sound familiar?
  • Difference is size of the allocations
    • An Erlang process is 0.5 kb
    • A Go goroutine is 2 kb (version 1.4)
    • A Java thread is 1024 kb on 64 bit VM
    • PHP request varies by how much is loaded
    • Laravel averages 7-12mb / request

Programming Elixir, Chapter 15 Laptop w/ 4 cores and 4gb of RAM counting concurrently 1,000,000 processes = * 0.48 gb in Elixir * 1.91 gb in Golang (go routines) * 977 gb in Java (threads) * 6,836 gb in PHP (Laravel requests)

Immutable Data
  • There’s no passing pointers
  • Add something to a list, get a new list
  • Everything is “message passing”
    • Avoids mutex locks
    • Enables per-process garbage collection
    • Makes calling a function locally, in another process or on another machine transparent
3 Databases Built In
  • ETS – Erlang Term Storage
    • In memory table storage for a node
  • DETS – Disk-based Erlang Term Storage
    • Disk table storage for a node
3 Databases Built In
  • Mnesia - #awesome
    • A relational/object hybrid data model that is suitable for telecommunications applications.
    • A DBMS query language, Query List Comprehension (QLC) as an add-on library.
    • Persistence. Tables can be coherently kept on disc and in the main memory.
    • Replication. Tables can be replicated at several nodes.
    • Atomic transactions. A series of table manipulation operations can be grouped into a single atomic transaction.
    • Location transparency. Programs can be written without knowledge of the actual data location.
    • Extremely fast real-time data searches.
    • Schema manipulation routines. The DBMS can be reconfigured at runtime without stopping the system.

How do you have a for loop with an immutable increment?

Recursion. Lots of recursion.

“If Java is the right one to run anywhere, then Erlang is the right one to run forever.”

- Joe Armstrong

Let it crash

Let it crash

Pattern Matching Functions
defmodule Factorial do
    def of(0), do: 1
    def of(n), do: n * of(n-1)
defmodule PrintStuff do
  def print({:error, stuff}) do
    IO.puts “ERROR! #{stuff}”
  def print({:ok, stuff}), do: IO.puts stuff
PrintStuff.print({:ok, stuff})
Parallel Map
defmodule Paraller do
  def pmap(collection, fun) do
    me = self
    |> (elem) ->
        spawn_link fn -> (send me, { self, fun.(elem) }) end
    |> (pid) ->
         receive do { ^pid, result } -> result end

defmodule Stack do
  use GenServer

  def init(stack) do
    {:ok, stack}

  def handle_call(:pop, _from, [head | tail]) do
    {:reply, head, tail}

  def handle_cast({:push, item}, state) do
    {:noreply, [item | state]}

{:ok, pid} = GenServer.start_link(Stack, [:hello]), :pop)            #=> :hello
GenServer.cast(pid, {:push, :world}) #=> :ok, :pop)            #=> :world

Phoenix Framework

Phoenix LiveView

real-time user experiences with server-rendered HTML

No JavaScript!

Macros - Metaprogramming

Erlang is Full Stack