Current prospect for typed replacement? (gleam doesn't support elixir macros)

I think some people at work who enjoy our elm front end were waiting for gleam to emerge as the typed alternative to elixir, with the ability to gradually migrate. Given that gleam doesn’t support calling macros, that feels like a dead end.

Assuming that we will remain happy with ecto and absinthe for a long time, what typed replacement should the elm enthusiasts be watching?

My best guesses are:

  1. an eventual elixir type system
  2. the polishing of rust libraries
  3. a full gleam ecosystem

I think ocaml and haskell either will not reach ecosystem feature complete or simplicity any time soon. Too much churn in node for people to get excited about typescript. No one likes scala, too many concepts. There might be some interest in f# depending on .net core direction.

My best guess is (2) is ready today and then (3) and (1) will emerge after a while, so maybe our elm enthusiasts should focus on (2).

As Jose Valim iterated on his Keynote, there won’t be a type system, rather Set Theoretic types.

Checkout his talk, he explains his reasoning amicably:

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I watched the talk. I had also seen posts mentioning set theoretic types. I am unclear how this means there won’t be a type system. It sounds more like a particular variety of type system, if the research is fruitful and does not end up requiring restrictions on the language’s expressiveness.

I tried understanding the paper, but it will require more effort. We’ll need simpler explanations of set theoretic types so that everybody can have some understanding of the concept without investing days into the paper.


I think I was wrong before. The latest gleam notes mention macro support.