Elixir is a enjoyable, productive language. OTP provides wonderful libraries, and BEAM is a kick-ass virtual machine. What else would you want as an Elixir/Erlang/OTP developer?

Static type system? Gleam and Alpaca have that.

More parentheses? Lisp Flavoured Erlang has plenty of those.

Great Erlang/OTP interop? Elixir is already very good at that.

What I want is something that combines all of the above. I’ve been inspired by Racket and Clojure, but love working with OTP, so I’m going to write a new language. Because it’s for me, I’m going to name it after myself and call it Erie.

I think it might look something like this. Pardon the lack of syntax highlighting. That will come later.

(defmodule MyNs.MyModule
  [use: MyNs.MacroModule
   import: Ecto.Query
   alias: MyNs.Other.Long.ModuleName])

(deftype (Result e a)
  {'ok a}
  {'error e})

(deftype (Optional a)

(def to_string [result: (Result String Integer)] String
  (case result
    [{'ok int} (Integer.to_string int)]
    [{'error str} str]))

(def join_with_oxford_comma [list: (List String)] String
  Combines `list` into a grammatically correct string.
  "one" or "one and two" or "one, two, and three".
  (case list
    [[] ""]
    [[one] one]
    [[one two] (string-append one " and " two)]
        [last (Enum.at list -1)
         all-but (Enum.take list (range 0..-1))]
        (string-append (Enum.join all-but ",") " and " last))]))

A few features to note.

  • Polymorphic type system.
  • Basic types are more similar to Elixir’s (lists, tuples, maps, and strings as binaries).
  • Pattern matching will be front and center.

Everything is subject to change as it gets built, but after “writing” a few dozen lines of Erie, this seems like a good place to start.