Went by in a blur, really.
The good news is that I’m doing a fair amount of simple but idiosyncratic back-end services and enjoying it tremendously.
The beauty of Elixir is that it sweeps all of Erlang’s syntactic noise under the rug1 and makes it look a lot like Ruby. But it’s a niche within a niche, and as a result still somewhat obscure and thus a lot harder to get to grips with in practical terms – there’s comparatively very little documentation, samples, etc.
Dynamo (their web framework) is nice and straightforward, but since I’m basically doing REST APIs with JSON these days the lack of a native JSON library is annoying – I suppose I can use a “work in progress” library I found or call out to any of the Erlang implementations2, but I’d rather not, really.
Plus I really don’t have the time these days, so I’m delving deeper into
gevent land and deploying stuff with
gunicorn whenever I can3 – the results are satisfying in terms of both developer time and CPU time, and that’s good enough for me right now.
But since I’m never happy with “good enough”, I envision a few long nights ahead…
I can read Erlang code without much effort, but writing it is another matter altogether. The profusion of colons, tildes, angle brackets and whatnot makes it too cumbersome to type, and I can’t help it but think that the thing’s too prickly to feel elegant, whereas Elixir is a lot easier on the eye. ↩︎
Alas, I still have to put up with systems running versions of Debian that ought to feature on the fossil record, so that’s not really possible everywhere… ↩︎