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Elixir is a general-purpose programming language that uses a functional code-building paradigm and dynamic variable typing. In fact, it is an add-on for another language – Erlang and uses its virtual machine to compile code. The syntax is very similar to Ruby.
Elixir is not the most widely used language. Despite the fact that it was invented back in 2012, it has not gained much popularity as its competitors. Nevertheless, it has found its niche in the web environment and successfully solves a number of specific tasks.
Elixir web development code is built from lightweight threads called processes. They are isolated and handled by the garbage collector independently of each other. Due to this, the resources of the device are used as efficiently as possible.
Processes can also work cohesively across multiple devices by exchanging messages over the network. This allows developers to build horizontally scalable systems from multiple nodes.
To find and fix errors in Elixir Programming, there is a special supervisor who describes the problems found in the code and suggests their solution.
The functional style in Elixir allows you to write short, readable code. Pattern-matching technology makes working with data concise and efficient.
Built-in management tools
The mix is an automation utility that helps you manage your project, tests, and attached tasks.
The IEx tool enables language features for auto-assembly, code reloading, and formatting.
The disadvantages of the language include:
- unusual syntax, especially for developers accustomed to other OOP languages;
- the complexity of arithmetic and operators;
- a small number of ready-made libraries.
Where Is Elixir Used?
Thanks to its largest framework called Phoenix, the Elixir language has gained a foothold in web development. On Phoenix, large multi-user projects are created with constant real-time updating of information: instant messengers, social networks, and dashboards.
Working with databases on Elixir is carried out through the Ecto solution. These are four modules with all the necessary tools, including repositories and a query language.
At the same time, Elixir itself is a general-purpose programming language. On it, in theory, you can write programs for any platform.
Notable companies using Elixir in their IT products include Discord, PepsiCo, and Change.org.
For Which Projects Is Elixir a Great Choice?
Functional programming in Elixir can be used for a wide variety of projects. The main advantage of this language is that it is not yet used for any specific area, so it can be useful for creating applications in any area.
In particular, Elixir is perfect for projects with the following requirements and characteristics:
- Low latency.
- The big flow of traffic.
- Distributed systems (for example, blockchain projects).
- Embedded systems (for example, projects in the field of the Internet of Things).
- Real-time applications (instant messaging systems, chats, video chats, financial accounting applications, etc.).
High Speed of Elixir Programming Language
Elixir and Phoenix are very fast. For example, performance tests of this language show results that are an order of magnitude higher than those of the same Ruby, and Phoenix’s response speed is sometimes calculated in microseconds. Impressive, isn’t it? If we are talking about user experience, then speed is one of the key parameters. And when the application quickly responds to all our requests, we cannot but rejoice. In addition, high speed improves productivity levels, which in turn saves energy and costs.
Elixir is a platform that provides a developer with ample opportunities for scaling a project through the use of parallel isolated threads. The advantages of the language also include fault tolerance, the implementation of metaprogramming, and high performance. In terms of popularity, Elixir is noticeably inferior to more common platforms, but the quality of programs developed on it is no worse. In some aspects, the language even outperforms its competitors.