Tl;DR: We’re launching a weekly email newsletter about Elixir. It’s called Elixir Radar. We would like to invite you to subscribe to it.
A little bit of Elixir’s history
You may know José Valim. You may know Elixir. You may know Plataformatec. But you may not know the story of how Elixir was created and how that story connects all of those dots. Let me tell you the story.
José is one of the founders of Plataformatec and a Ruby on Rails Core team member. Back in 2010, he was working with improving Rails thread safety guarantees. It was a big challenge, and one where he learned a lot.
Because of that experience, he felt solving concurrency problems was too hard. So hard that it was difficult to maintain the Ruby’s philosophy of programmer happiness while solving that kind of problem. That was when he decided to study other paradigms and technologies.
During that journey, he fell in love with the Erlang VM. Its concurrency model brought productivity when tackling simple or complex problems. The failure semantics showed him how to write robust code without being defensive. The sheer amount of instrumentation the VM provides reflected well the fact companies have been using it for decades in production and he was confident he could do it too.
At the beginning of 2011, after some time working with Erlang VM, Valim decided to explore it further and build a new programming language, borrowing ideas from other technologies and ecosystems he has explored during that same journey.
In January of 2012 he presented to the other Plataformatec partners the first draft of Elixir. He told us what he envisioned Elixir could be. He wanted a productive language with great tooling. He also wanted the language to be extensible while encouraging practices that improve maintainability. And, of course, it would have the built-in concurrency model and robustness that the Erlang VM offers.
Valim said all of those features could make Elixir a relevant language for our work. Being it when building custom TCP servers, complex web applications or tackling distributed systems.
We were excited and decided to invest. We agreed Valim could spend 100% of his time working on Elixir.
For months, we were uncertain if we took the right decision. However that uncertainty was gone at the moment when Dave Thomas (founder at Pragmatic Programmers) and Simon St. Laurent (senior editor at O’Reilly) announced that they were writing books about Elixir. After that, everything changed.
Lots of Elixir meetups started to pop around the globe. Hundreds of libraries have been published to hex.pm. The first ElixirConf happened and at least two other conferences are planned for 2015. We have seen plenty of books and other educational materials around!
Those are signs of a strong open source community and we finally felt that Elixir was in the right direction.
Why Elixir Radar
We’re a small company and we knew back in 2012 that investing in a new programming language was a long term shot and with high risks. But today, Elixir is showing lots of signs that it’s on the right track. Like how its ecosystem is growing on its own!
As the company behind Elixir, we’re now looking into other ways to contribute to the ecosystem besides building the language itself. That’s why we decided to create an email newsletter with curated content about the community: Elixir Radar.
As the community grows, we believe both newcomers and experienced Elixir developers will benefit from a newsletter that shares and promotes the exciting projects, ideas and events happening all around.
If you want to receive a weekly email with blog posts, latest libraries, talks, events and job opportunities, please go to Elixir Radar’s page and subscribe.
We hope you’ll enjoy it.