Welcome to the forum everyone!
If you’re an existing member of the Erlang community we hope you like what you see and how we’ve set everything up, and if you’re a member of the wider BEAM world we hope you’re just as excited too! In fact from the outset this forum has been created not just to cater to the needs of Erlang, but for those of the entire BEAM community - and with the blessing of the Erlang core team to boot!
Excited? Want to know more? If so read on!
Let’s begin with where it all started because there’s more to this story than just this new forum.
Earlier this year the Erlang/OTP team reached out to us on the Elixir Forum to ask if we could help with a forum for Erlang. We were of course honoured to, even if that was just by advising the team on the various options out there. Some of those options included putting a Discourse forum at erlang.org (like many languages do) or even simply making use of GitHub’s new ‘Discussions’ forum system. These would have been a significant step-up from the old mailing list and relatively easy to set up - but the Erlang team wanted something more. In fact they have been so impressed with the Elixir Forum that they wanted something more like that.
Taking on such a project isn’t a responsibility to be taken lightly though, so it was important to ensure the vision we had in mind for the forum was aligned with the Erlang team’s vision for Erlang itself - and this is the important part of the story - and the bit that is going to excite you, just like it did us!
Firstly we asked whether the Erlang team would be happy for us to include a dedication to Joe in our Mission Statement and for us to invite Robert (and Mike if he was still active in online spaces) to the Admin team out of respect for them as creators of the language. Naturally they said that would be fine, and then we slipped this in: were the Erlang team already working on or thinking about ‘modernising’ Erlang at all (even if in small steps) and were they interested in seeing better BEAM lang interoperability? They said yes, to both!!
This is incredibly exciting not just for Erlang but the entire BEAM world. We’ve already seen some amazing performance enhancements such as with the new JIT compiler and we can’t wait to see what comes next. It really does feel as though we’re at the beginning of a very meaningful Erlang evolution, and it’s awesome that each and every one of us (that includes you!) can help play a part in this important chapter of Erlang’s life.
Speaking of chapters, did you know that the Erlang/OTP team consists of almost 20 people? And that all of them are employed by Ericsson? Many of them have been working on Erlang since the 90’s and even some of the newest members have been a part of the team for over a decade. Not only is this testament to Ericsson (holding on to talent isn’t easy in this industry) but it also highlights the team are passionate about Erlang and truly believe in it to have stayed working on it for so long.
We need to make more of things like this.
For too long Erlang seems to have gotten a reputation for being some sort of esoteric language that isn’t really used or isn’t very actively developed or maintained - but this couldn’t be further from the truth - and so part of what we aim to do here is help dispel some of these myths. And you can help.
If you love Erlang and the BEAM world, join up and jump in! Let’s show the world the Erlang community is alive and kicking - and you can help do this even just by simply taking part in threads. Tell us what first got you interested in Erlang or one of the other BEAM languages, what keeps you coming back, which projects you’ve used them for, how long you’ve been using them, your favourite aspects of them, the bits you wish you knew when you first got started - there’s just so much to talk about, and you, your stories and the way you interact with people here really can captivate and help inspire the next generation of Erlangers. Who knows where that might lead? Cool new frameworks, tools or even more BEAM languages for us to use and enjoy? Perhaps someone you inspire will go on to create something that helps take Erlang further than even its creators might have imagined!
Similarly, if you’re the creators of a BEAM language (or one of the Erlang frameworks or tools) and you don’t already have a dedicated forum, please consider using this forum as your official forum space on the web. The more buzz and activity we can generate here the bigger we can grow the Erlang community - and that means more potential users of your BEAM language or framework too. What you see right now is just a starting point and as your language or framework and the activity around it grows we’ll expand your sections accordingly - giving you dedicated sections for things like News, Chat, Questions, etc. Not only will you benefit from not having to worry about mundane and time consuming tasks like moderation, SEO, hosting and the day to day housekeeping of threads, but you’ll be on a platform that gives you access to the Erlang community via one of its main officially sanctioned spaces. It’s a win win situation for everyone.
As many of you reading this will know Erlang is one of the best pieces of tech around and it’s been giving companies a massive competitive edge for decades - and it’s a real shame that, perhaps also because it’s been so good, that it’s also been one of the most guarded and best kept secrets in the industry as well - that, along with some of the myths around Erlang have been a blocker for too long. It’s time we started to break those myths in a much more concerted and co-ordinated way, and get together to join the Erlang team in helping forge a new path not just for Erlang, but also for every language that runs on the Erlang VM too …and you really can be an important part of this.
Whoever you are and whatever your experience of Erlang is, welcome to the forum and the start of what we hope is something truly special: an evolution of Erlang and the time for it to shine brighter than it ever has.
With your help and support (and hopefully on this forum) we have no doubt it will
To help celebrate our launch and to help get as many people into Erlang as possible, some of our friends are helping us get things started by giving away some Erlang related books and courses/screencasts!
To help encourage people go the distance, all we ask is that you share your journey with us here on the forum, either by taking part in one of the book clubs or just posting a thread/journal to share your experience with the book, course or screencast - hopefully this will not only help you see things through, but your posts and experience could help inspire others to do the same too
Ok, we have…
- 30 Programming Erlang eBooks from PragProg! (view our thread here)
- 25 Property-Based Testing with PropEr, Erlang, and Elixir eBooks from PragProg! (view our thread here)
- 4 Erlang and OTP in Action eBooks from Manning! (view our thread here)
- 4 Elixir in Action eBooks from Manning!
- 4 Phoenix in Action eBooks from Manning!
- 4 The Little Elixir & OTP Guidebook eBooks from Manning!
- 1 Elixir & OTP course from The Pragmatic Studio
- 1 ElixirCasts subscription for a whole year!
- 4 Build It with Nitrogen eBooks (view our thread here)
All you need to do to get your hands on one of these is to post anywhere on the forum and then PM the @erlangforums account with your choice (if requesting one of the latter two items it might be worth adding a second choice too). We’ll give these out on a first come first serve basis - so be quick!