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Elixir vs Elm: What are the differences?

What is Elixir? Dynamic, functional language designed for building scalable and maintainable applications. Elixir leverages the Erlang VM, known for running low-latency, distributed and fault-tolerant systems, while also being successfully used in web development and the embedded software domain.

What is Elm? A type inferred, functional reactive language that compiles to HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Writing HTML apps is super easy with elm-lang/html. Not only does it render extremely fast, it also quietly guides you towards well-architected code.

Elixir and Elm can be primarily classified as "Languages" tools.

"Concurrency" is the top reason why over 124 developers like Elixir, while over 37 developers mention "Code stays clean" as the leading cause for choosing Elm.

Elixir and Elm are both open source tools. It seems that Elixir with 15.6K GitHub stars and 2.22K forks on GitHub has more adoption than Elm with 5.3K GitHub stars and 424 GitHub forks.

Resultados Digitais, NoRedInk, and Poll Everywhere are some of the popular companies that use Elixir, whereas Elm is used by NoRedInk, Brilliant, and RolePoint. Elixir has a broader approval, being mentioned in 177 company stacks & 190 developers stacks; compared to Elm, which is listed in 27 company stacks and 35 developer stacks.

Decisions about Elixir and Elm

#rust #elixir So am creating a messenger with voice call capabilities app which the user signs up using phone number and so at first i wanted to use Actix so i learned Rust so i thought to myself because well its first i felt its a bit immature to use actix web even though some companies are using Rust but we cant really say the full potential of Rust in a full scale app for example in Discord both Elixir and Rust are used meaning there is equal need for them but for Elixir so many companies use it from Whatsapp, Wechat, etc and this means something for Rust is not ready to go full scale we cant assume all this possibilities when it come Rust. So i decided to go the Erlang way after alot of Thinking so Do you think i made the right decision?Am 19 year programmer so i assume am not experienced as you so your answer or comment would really valuable to me

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Timm Stelzer
VP Of Engineering at Flexperto GmbH · | 18 upvotes · 353.6K views

We have a lot of experience in JavaScript, writing our services in NodeJS allows developers to transition to the back end without any friction, without having to learn a new language. There is also the option to write services in TypeScript, which adds an expressive type layer. The semi-shared ecosystem between front and back end is nice as well, though specifically NodeJS libraries sometimes suffer in quality, compared to other major languages.

As for why we didn't pick the other languages, most of it comes down to "personal preference" and historically grown code bases, but let's do some post-hoc deduction:

Go is a practical choice, reasonably easy to learn, but until we find performance issues with our NodeJS stack, there is simply no reason to switch. The benefits of using NodeJS so far outweigh those of picking Go. This might change in the future.

PHP is a language we're still using in big parts of our system, and are still sometimes writing new code in. Modern PHP has fixed some of its issues, and probably has the fastest development cycle time, but it suffers around modelling complex asynchronous tasks, and (on a personal note) lack of support for writing in a functional style.

We don't use Python, Elixir or Ruby, mostly because of personal preference and for historic reasons.

Rust, though I personally love and use it in my projects, would require us to specifically hire for that, as the learning curve is quite steep. Its web ecosystem is OK by now (see, but in my opinion, it is still no where near that of the other web languages. In other words, we are not willing to pay the price for playing this innovation card.

Haskell, as with Rust, I personally adore, but is simply too esoteric for us. There are problem domains where it shines, ours is not one of them.

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Pros of Elixir
Pros of Elm
  • 169
  • 155
  • 130
    Erlang vm
  • 110
    Great documentation
  • 103
    Great tooling
  • 84
    Immutable data structures
  • 79
    Open source
  • 76
  • 61
    Easy to get started
  • 58
    Actor library
  • 29
    Functional with a neat syntax
  • 28
    Ruby inspired
  • 24
  • 23
    Erlang evolved
  • 21
    Beauty of Ruby, Speed of Erlang/C
  • 17
    Fault Tolerant
  • 13
    High Performance
  • 13
  • 10
    Good lang
  • 9
    Stinkin' fast, no memory leaks, easy on the eyes
  • 9
    Doc as first class citizen
  • 9
    Pipe Operator
  • 7
    Resilient to failure
  • 6
    Fun to write
  • 5
  • 5
    GenServer takes the guesswork out of background work
  • 4
    Fast, Concurrent with clean error messages
  • 4
  • 4
    Not Swift
  • 4
    Pattern matching
  • 2
    Error isolation
  • 1
    Easy to use
  • 1
    Dynamic Typing
  • 43
    Code stays clean
  • 41
    Great type system
  • 39
    No Runtime Exceptions
  • 32
  • 27
    Easy to understand
  • 21
  • 21
    Type safety
  • 15
    JS fatigue
  • 11
  • 11
    Ecosystem agrees on one Application Architecture
  • 9
    Friendly compiler messages
  • 7
    Fast rendering
  • 7
    Welcoming community
  • 6
    If it compiles, it runs
  • 5
    Stable ecosystem
  • 4
    'Batteries included'
  • 2

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Cons of Elixir
Cons of Elm
  • 11
    Fewer jobs for Elixir experts
  • 7
    Smaller userbase than other mainstream languages
  • 5
    Elixir's dot notation less readable ("object": 1st arg)
  • 4
    Dynamic typing
  • 1
    Difficult to understand
  • 1
    Not a lot of learning books available
  • 2
    No typeclasses -> repitition (i.e. map has 130versions)
  • 2
    JS interoperability a bit more involved
  • 1
    Backwards compability breaks between releases
  • 1
    More code is required
  • 1
    Main developer enforces "the correct" style hard
  • 1
    JS interop can not be async
  • 1
    No communication with users

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What is Elixir?

Elixir leverages the Erlang VM, known for running low-latency, distributed and fault-tolerant systems, while also being successfully used in web development and the embedded software domain.

What is Elm?

Writing HTML apps is super easy with elm-lang/html. Not only does it render extremely fast, it also quietly guides you towards well-architected code.

Need advice about which tool to choose?Ask the StackShare community!

What companies use Elixir?
What companies use Elm?
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What tools integrate with Elm?

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Oct 24 2019 at 7:43PM


What are some alternatives to Elixir and Elm?
Go is expressive, concise, clean, and efficient. Its concurrency mechanisms make it easy to write programs that get the most out of multicore and networked machines, while its novel type system enables flexible and modular program construction. Go compiles quickly to machine code yet has the convenience of garbage collection and the power of run-time reflection. It's a fast, statically typed, compiled language that feels like a dynamically typed, interpreted language.
Some of Erlang's uses are in telecoms, banking, e-commerce, computer telephony and instant messaging. Erlang's runtime system has built-in support for concurrency, distribution and fault tolerance. OTP is set of Erlang libraries and design principles providing middle-ware to develop these systems.
Clojure is designed to be a general-purpose language, combining the approachability and interactive development of a scripting language with an efficient and robust infrastructure for multithreaded programming. Clojure is a compiled language - it compiles directly to JVM bytecode, yet remains completely dynamic. Clojure is a dialect of Lisp, and shares with Lisp the code-as-data philosophy and a powerful macro system.
Ruby is a language of careful balance. Its creator, Yukihiro “Matz” Matsumoto, blended parts of his favorite languages (Perl, Smalltalk, Eiffel, Ada, and Lisp) to form a new language that balanced functional programming with imperative programming.
Rust is a systems programming language that combines strong compile-time correctness guarantees with fast performance. It improves upon the ideas of other systems languages like C++ by providing guaranteed memory safety (no crashes, no data races) and complete control over the lifecycle of memory.
See all alternatives