Updated March 20, 2023
Introduction to Elixir vs Erlang
Elixir and Erlang programming languages have gained worldwide popularity past few years. Both the programming languages have their own distinguished features and are used in different sectors. Erlang was introduced globally in the year 1998, while Jose Valim developed an elixir in the year 2011. Erlang was mainly used in the field of telecommunication, banking, ecommerce, etc. Elixir is a functional language that is meant for developing applications that are scalable in nature. They are mainly used in handling the distributed applications. Many companies like WhatsApp, Google, Uber, Pinterest, Medium, Slack use Elixir and Erlang programming languages. In this topic, we are going to learn about Elixir vs Erlang.
What is Elixir?
Elixir is a functional programming language that is mainly designed for maintaining the distributed and scalable applications. It is built above Erlang, which helps support faulty and low tolerant systems. It has the same performance as compared to Erlang with certain changes in features. The features of Elixir programming language are its fault tolerating feature, highly scalable, provides a set to tools that help the developers to write the code easily and quickly with its own testing features and managing the projects, compatible with Erlang so it is easy for Erlang developers to work in Elixir environment. The installation procedure of both the programming languages differs according to the operating system used.
What is Erlang?
Erlang is a functional language in nature, and it also has a run time environment. It supports various fault-tolerant systems and applications. There are some requirements that an application should have before Erlang is used to develop it, like the application should be distributed, scalable, fault-tolerant, easily upgradable and can be reconfigured. Certain requirements should be taken care of before installing Erlang in any machines, like preferable RAM size should be 2 GB and disk size should be enough to store the applications that will be created. It operates on various operating systems like Mac OS, Windows and Ubuntu/Debian. There are different installation procedures and guidelines with respect to different operating systems.
Head to Head Comparison Between Elixir vs Erlang (Infographics)
Below are the top 5 differences between Elixir vs Erlang.
Key Differences Between Elixir vs Erlang
Let us discuss some of the major key differences between Elixir vs Erlang.
- Certain operators are available in Erlang but not in Elixir. For example: Logical AND and Logical OR operators are available in Erlang but not in Elixir.
- In Erlang, to mark the end of an expression, we use. (dot) and (comma), while in Elixir, we use ;(semicolon) and a line break to mark the end of a line or an expression.
a=3, b=2. a*b,
a=2; b=1 a*b
- In Erlang, we cannot assign the variables more than once. If we try assigning variables more than once, then it throws an error during execution, while in Elixir, we can assign the variables more than once.
- In Erlang, to invoke any function, we use a different syntax as compared to Elixir. In Erlang, we use :(colon) to invoke any function using the respective module, while in Elixir, we use. (dot) to invoke the function.
- The data types used in Elixir and Erlang are almost the same, with certain differences. In Erlang, atoms are the identifiers that don’t start with upper case letters and the ones that start with the upper case letters are known as variables. In Elixir, it is completely opposite, and atoms always begin with (:) colon.
- In Elixir, default values for any arguments are always defined, but in Erlang, default values are not defined.
- Erlang and Elixir are both used for functionalities like sending and receiving languages, but their syntax varies a lot while writing the code.
- In terms of concurrency support, Elixir is preferred by the developers over Erlang.
- In terms of ease of application, fault-tolerant mechanism and distributed applications, Elixir is preferred mostly in the current environment.
- Erlang is mainly targeted in sectors dealing with the Cloud Computing industry, Gaming industry, distributed and embedded systems. Elixir is targeted in sectors that deal with cloud computing, enterprise, web development, and embedded systems.
- The documentation level is very highly designed in Elixir as compared to the Erlang programming language.
- In Elixir, we can add or define the number of modules to a particular file, while in Erlang, we can define multiple functions and can link them to the various modules as per the requirements.
String functions, Regular expressions, looping statements, conditional statements, recursive functions, user-defined functions, different libraries, web programming methods, concurrency support, are covered in both Erlang and Elixir programming languages.
Elixir vs Erlang Comparison Table
Let’s discuss the top 5 difference between Elixir vs Erlang.
|Elixir, introduced in the year 2011, is mainly used for scalable and distributed applications.||Erlang was introduced globally in the year 1995 as an open-source programming language that is mainly used in the field of ecommerce, banking and telecommunication systems.|
|To compile elixir code, we use “elixirc”, and it also has an executable which is called “elixir”, which is used to run the code written in Elixir.||To compile erlang code, we use “erlc”, and we can launch Erlang shell by using “erl”, which is considered one of the fastest ways to run the code written in Erlang.|
|Elixir supports fewer databases than Erlang, which are Couch DB, PostgreSQL, MongoDB, and orientdb.||Erlang supports many databases like Apache, Riak, Couch DB, MySQL, PostgreSQL, Redis, MongoDB, Mnesia.|
|It supports only the Phoenix framework.||It supports frameworks like Erlang OTP, Yaws, Cowboy.|
|It supports many cloud platforms like Google Cloud Engine, Amazon Ec2, Heroku, Digital Ocean,Docker.io and Cloud Foundry.||It supports fewer cloud platforms, the Elixir, which are Amazon Ec2, Docker.io, and Digital Ocean.|
Elixir and Erlang are two different programming languages that the developers use as per the business requirements. Elixir is developed above Erlang, which is also compatible with Erlang, and some of the features and working are similar to that of the Erlang programming language. Both the programming languages are reliable and good in performance with concurrency support. In the recent scenario, developers prefer using Elixir programming language because of the advanced support, environment with easy syntax and scale the application in a better way with high productivity.
This is a guide to Elixir vs Erlang. Here we discuss the Elixir vs Erlang key differences with infographics along with the comparison table. You may also have a look at the following articles to learn more –