Elixir (programming language)

From HandWiki
Short description: Programming language running on the Erlang virtual machine
elixir programming language
Paradigmmulti-paradigm: functional, concurrent, distributed, process-oriented
First appeared2012; 10 years ago (2012)
Typing disciplinedynamic, strong, duck
LicenseApache License 2.0[1]
Filename extensions.ex, .exs
Influenced by
Clojure, Erlang, Ruby

Elixir is a functional, concurrent, general-purpose programming language that runs on the BEAM virtual machine which is also used to implement the Erlang programming language.[2] Elixir builds on top of Erlang and shares the same abstractions for building distributed, fault-tolerant applications. Elixir also provides productive tooling and an extensible design. The latter is supported by compile-time metaprogramming with macros and polymorphism via protocols.[3]

Elixir is used by companies such as Ramp,[4] PagerDuty,[5] Discord,[6] Brex,[7] E-MetroTel,[8] Pinterest,[9] Moz,[10] Bleacher Report,[11] The Outline,[12] Inverse,[13] Divvy,[14] FarmBot[15] and for building embedded systems.[16][17] The community organizes yearly events in the United States,[18] Europe[19] and Japan[20] as well as minor local events and conferences.[21][22]


José Valim is the creator of the Elixir programming language, a research and development project created at Plataformatec. His goals were to enable higher extensibility and productivity in the Erlang VM while keeping compatibility with Erlang's ecosystem.[23][24]

José Valim aimed to create a programming language for large-scale sites and apps. Being a Ruby developer, he used features of Ruby, Erlang, and Clojure to develop a high-concurrency and low-latency language. Elixir was designed to handle large data volumes. Its speed and capabilities spread Elixir in telecommunication, eCommerce, and finance industries.[25]

On July 12, 2018, Honeypot released a mini-documentary on Elixir.[26]


Elixir mostly[27] follows semantic versioning and has only 1 major version with no plans for a second. Each of the minor versions supports a specific range of Erlang/OTP versions.[28]



The following examples can be run in an iex shell or saved in a file and run from the command line by typing elixir <filename>.

Classic Hello world example:

iex> IO.puts("Hello World!")
Hello World!


iex> for n <- [1,2,3,4,5], rem(n, 2) == 1, do: n*n
[1, 9, 25]

Pattern Matching (destructuring)

iex> [1, a] = [1, 2]
iex> a

iex> {:ok, [hello: a]} = {:ok, [hello: "world"]}
iex> a

Pattern Matching (multiple clauses)

iex> case File.read("path/to/file") do
iex>   {:ok, contents} -> IO.puts("found file: #{contents}")
iex>   {:error, reason} -> IO.puts("missing file: #{reason}")
iex> end

Pipe Operator

iex> "1" |> String.to_integer() |> Kernel.*(2)


defmodule Fun do
  def fib(0), do: 0
  def fib(1), do: 1
  def fib(n), do: fib(n-2) + fib(n-1)  

Sequentially spawning a thousand processes

for num <- 1..1000, do: spawn fn -> IO.puts("#{num * 2}") end

Asynchronously performing a task

task = Task.async fn -> perform_complex_action() end
Task.await task

Noteworthy Elixir projects

  • Mix is a build automation tool that provides tasks for creating, compiling, and testing Elixir projects, managing its dependencies, and more.[33]
  • Phoenix is a web development framework written in Elixir which implements the server-side Model View Controller (MVC) pattern.[34]

See also


  1. "elixir/LICENSE at master · elixir-lang/elixir · GitHub". GitHub. https://github.com/elixir-lang/elixir/blob/master/LICENSE. 
  2. "Most Popular Programming Languages of 2018 - Elite Infoworld Blog". 2018-03-30. https://www.eliteinfoworld.com/blog/popular-programming-languages-2018/. 
  3. "Elixir". José Valim. https://elixir-lang.org. 
  4. "Elixir at Ramp". 2021-05-24. https://engineering.ramp.com/elixir-at-ramp. 
  5. "Elixir at PagerDuty". 2018-06-14. https://www.pagerduty.com/blog/elixir-at-pagerduty/. 
  6. Vishnevskiy, Stanislav (Jul 6, 2017). "How Discord Scaled Elixir to 5,000,000 Concurrent Users". https://blog.discordapp.com/scaling-elixir-f9b8e1e7c29b?gi=3afa589deb67. 
  7. Valim, José (2020-06-23). "Elixir at fintech with Brex" (in en). https://elixir-lang.org/blog/2020/06/23/growing-with-elixir-at-brex/. 
  8. "What's New in Release 6.0 | Documentation". https://www.emetrotel.com/tsd/content/whats-new-release-60. 
  9. "Introducing new open-source tools for the Elixir community". https://engineering.pinterest.com/blog/introducing-new-open-source-tools-elixir-community. 
  10. "Unlocking New Features in Moz Pro with a Database-Free Architecture". https://moz.com/devblog/moz-analytics-db-free/. 
  11. "Elixir". https://dev.bleacherreport.com/tagged/elixir. 
  12. Lucia, Dave (Sep 24, 2018). "Two years of Elixir at The Outline". https://blog.usejournal.com/two-years-of-elixir-at-the-outline-ad671a56c9ce?gi=9931fa1dcdcb. 
  13. "What big projects use Elixir?". https://www.quora.com/What-big-projects-use-Elixir. 
  14. "Why Divvy uses Elixir instead of more popular coding languages.". 2 April 2019. https://medium.com/@divvyhq/why-divvy-uses-elixir-instead-of-more-popular-coding-languages-92c514dc47d0. 
  15. The operating system and all related software that runs on FarmBot's Raspberry Pi.: FarmBot/farmbot_os, FarmBot, 2019-10-28, https://github.com/FarmBot/farmbot_os, retrieved 2019-10-29 
  16. "Elixir in production interview: Garth Hitchens". 3 June 2015. http://blog.plataformatec.com.br/2015/06/elixir-in-production-interview-garth-hitches/. 
  17. "Nerves - Craft and deploy bulletproof embedded software in Elixir". http://nerves-project.org/. 
  18. "ElixirConf". http://elixirconf.com/. 
  19. "ElixirConf". http://elixirconf.eu/. 
  20. "Erlang & Elixir Fest". https://elixir-fest.jp/. 
  21. "Elixir LDN". http://www.elixir.london/. 
  22. "EMPEX - Empire State Elixir Conference". http://empex.co/. 
  23. Elixir - A modern approach to programming for the Erlang VM. Retrieved 2013-02-17.
  24. José Valim - ElixirConf EU 2017 Keynote. Archived from the original on 2021-11-17. Retrieved 2017-07-14.
  25. "Behinde the code: The One Who Created Elixir". https://www.welcometothejungle.com/en/articles/btc-elixir-jose-valim/. 
  26. "Elixir: A Mini-Documentary". https://cult.honeypot.io/originals/elixir-the-documentary. 
  27. "Imperative Assignements are breaking the application in 1.7 update · Issue #8076 · elixir-lang/elixir" (in en). https://github.com/elixir-lang/elixir/issues/8076. 
  28. Elixir is a dynamic, functional language designed for building scalable and maintainable applications: elixir-lang/elixir, Elixir, 2019-04-21, https://github.com/elixir-lang/elixir, retrieved 2019-04-21 
  29. 29.0 29.1 29.2 29.3 29.4 29.5 "Elixir". https://elixir-lang.org/. 
  30. Loder, Wolfgang (12 May 2015). Erlang and Elixir for Imperative Programmers. "Chapter 16: Code Structuring Concepts", section title "Actor Model": Leanpub. https://leanpub.com/erlangandelixirforimperativeprogrammers. Retrieved 7 July 2015. 
  31. Wlaschin, Scott (May 2013). "Railway Oriented Programming". https://fsharpforfunandprofit.com/rop/. 
  32. "Writing assertive code with Elixir". 24 September 2014. http://blog.plataformatec.com.br/2014/09/writing-assertive-code-with-elixir/. 
  33. "Mix". https://hexdocs.pm/mix/Mix.html. 
  34. "Overview". https://hexdocs.pm/phoenix/overview.html. 

External links