Elixir — A Dynamic and functional Language

Elixir is a dynamic and functional language that is designed for building scalable and maintainable applications. It was created in 2011 by Jose Valim who wanted to enable higher extensibility and productivity in the Erlang VM while also keeping it compatible with the Erlang ecosystem. Even tho it uses the Erlang VM as its platform it was also influenced by LFE (List flavored Erlang), Clojure and Ruby. All of which are influenced by Erlang itself with the exception of Ruby.

Elixir uses the Erlang VM as its platform. The Erlang VM is known for running low-latency. distributed and fault tolerant systems. The Erlang VM itself is more than 20 years old. Since elixir runs on this platform it has complete access to Erlang’s ecosystem which allows for a developer to invoke Erlang function with no runtime cost.

Scalabilty

The code of elixir runs inside a lightweight threads of execution (aka processes). These processes are isolated and exchange information by sending messages, Due to this isolation of processes this allows for these processes to independently be garbage collected. This allows for a reduction in system-wide pauses that would see if different programming languages such as java.

Fault-tolerance

Every piece of software running on any type of system will eventually have something go wrong regardless of the programming language use to make it but what can differ from each language is how they handle these problems encountered. In elixirs case it employs supervisors which can explain how to restart individuals parts of your system and restore it back to working state before the problem occurred.

Functionality

Elixir is a functional programming language which bolsters a coding style that allows for developers to create code that is short, fast and maintainable that can allows developers to easily destructure data and access its contents.

Extensibility

Elixir was created with extenisblity in mind which allows developers to extend the elixir language with specific domains or frameworks to increase productivity.

I will now show you how to install Elixir on your computer.

Step 1.

Download the install files here:

I will be installing elixir on a windows machine but if you are installing it on a different operating system it should be the same but follow what the above page says when installing.

Step 2.

Click next to proceed.

Step 3.

Select the latest version of elixir which in this case is 1.4.1(this can change from the time of this post)

Step 4.

If you have a previous version of elixir it will get uninstalled here but if you don’t just Click next.

Step 5.

Elixir will now uninstall Elixir if you had a previous version and then it will download the necessary files.

Step 6.

We will now install Erlang, Select the folder where you want to install Erlang.

Click next.

Step 7.

Select folder location of Elixir.

Step 8.

Confirm the start menu location.

Step 9.

Click next.

Step 10.

Click install and Elixir will now be installed.

Step 11.

Congratulations you have now installed Elixir, Click finish to complete installation.

In my next blog post I will show you how to get started with Elixir’s basic types.

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