Elixir Forum 2021 Update!

Welcome to another annual update :003:

For most, 2020 will simply be the year remembered for Coronavirus, but for many of us, it will mean a lot more than that. As developers and technologists it emphasised more than ever how important technology is and how crucial our roles as developers and app makers are. We cover this in a broader sense in Devtalk’s update so won’t repeat that here, but will add that if anyone was unconvinced or on the fence about using Elixir or Erlang before, hopefully they’ll now appreciate just how important reliable, fault tolerant and scalable systems are - possibly after having faced the limitations of their existing stacks with the additional and unexpected demands the pandemic may have placed upon them. If that rings true for you, welcome - you’re in the right place! :blush:

2020 also meant people were spending more time at home and on their computers and this certainly seems to be reflected in our stats. In fact in terms of pageviews it’s been our best year yet - with us averaging a cool 1M per month! Some of you might remember that we served just over a million in our entire first year! How far we’ve come! Speaking of a million pageviews, Devtalk served that amount in just over 3 months and has continued on that trajectory ever since! (For those of you who are new here, Devtalk is our first sister site, one where we hope we can spread the word about Elixir and Erlang in the wider dev world.)

While we’re talking about figures with all these trailing zeros, here’s another for you: one hundred thousand.

$100,000 in fact!

By the end of this year, thanks to our amazing sponsors and partners, we’ll have given away almost $80,000 worth of prizes here! And if you combine that with Devtalk, that figure will be $100,000!!! As far as we know, no other programming related forum has done anything like this!

It’s a fantastic example of what can be achieved when you strive for high standards and welcome companies and organisations into the community with open arms. As we mentioned last year, everything we have given away has added something of tangible value to the community as a whole - even when you don’t win anything yourself - and none of this would have been possible without our amazing partners past and present. If you get a moment, please show your support by checking out this year’s sponsors :orange_heart:

2021 Giveaways!!

While on the topic of prizes and giveaways, we had 4 giveaways last year with a total of SIX prizes and we aren’t going to disappoint you this year! We have the same lined up for you again!

Cool huh!? :sunglasses:

But wait, want even more chances to win and an even wider range of developer related prizes? Then check out what we have in store for you over at Devtalk, where we’ll be giving away up to TEN prizes per month!

2021 Discounts!!

We’ve got some super discounts lined up for you again this year, again in conjunction with Devtalk:

*Onivim 2 is a brand new editor and the team is working hard to include support for a wide variety of languages, including Elixir and Erlang. Who knows, perhaps with our help it could become one of the premier editors for BEAM languages? :sunglasses: (Check out its Devtalk portal here.)

Members of the Year is back!

Members of the Year is back and we’d love for you to get involved again by - something you can do by nominating members who you feel have gone above and beyond in helping you, the community, or others based on their activity here on the forum. We’d really love more of you to get involved so please keep this in mind throughout the year! (Just pm @AstonJ with your nominations!)

We may also try something a little different this year, by using some of these to help encourage people to write journals about books, or expand the criteria to those who have been releasing (and announcing on the forum) cool new libraries, blog posts, guides etc. As the community grows and changes, so too does what benefits it, and if we can encourage more things like this then that can only be a good thing, right? Let us know your thoughts!

Like last year, we have 50 places/eBooks to give away!

(Keep an eye out next month for last year’s MOTY announcement!)

Our Plans for 2021

2021 is going to be another busy year. We love the portal system we have created on Devtalk and although the integration with Discourse as we have it right now will serve us well for some time (we have essentially compartmentalised news on to the homepage and chat on the forum) we quickly learned that what we really need is a new type of community platform …and we’ve decided to build it. We’ll be using Elixir and Erlang of course!

To garner feedback and help ensure such a platform will be useful for a wide variety of communities, we’ll be rolling out the Devtalk portal system to a few additional communities this year - hence having another hectic year ahead of us. So in order to help with daily house-keeping and moderation here, and to make life as easy as possible for our moderators, we’ll be putting together a Moderator’s Handbook and publishing it on the forum (it will replace our previously proposed Moderation Policies section).

We hope this will:

  • Make it easier for moderators (especially our newer mods - more of which we hope will join us this year) to handle day to day house-keeping tasks as well as to include and offer guidance on general moderation.
  • To let you all know what to expect here - which will not only help you measure moderation when you are subject to it yourself, but help better inform you of when your help might be needed in terms of flagging posts, etc.
  • To let you see whether you might like to join our mod team because (hopefully) you’ll see it is not as daunting as you might have first thought and just how important a role it is in creating a welcoming and successful community.

On writing the handbook we may need some input from you too, and of course you can provide feedback about any aspect of it yourself so please keep an eye out for it on the forum.

In a similar vein, we will continue to streamline the forum to help make it as easy as possible to use and moderate/maintain, so expect some of our least used sections being deprecated in order to facilitate this.

You may have also noticed that we haven’t been able to carry out daily house-keeping as much as we have in the past and while a large part of that was down to being very busy, it also became useful as it’s helped in ascertaining which points need to be covered and emphasised in the Handbook. Of course an additional benefit of this is that the most frequent/observant of you may have also recognised just how important our standards have been - with many of you spotting threads not properly categorised, titled, etc, and thus noticing the effects of that. Things which not only impact how enjoyable a forum is to browse and participate on, but how they impact things like SEO too - something that helps you find answers fast along with a whole host of other benefits. We hope this greater insight may lead to more of you wanting to help out and help keep our standards high - standards that have helped make this forum and community what it is and how that’s helped us achieve everything we have to date.

We know we say this every year but when we say ‘we’ we really do mean all of us - including you - the forum and the community is what it is because of members like you. If you are a regular or semi-regular member, or someone who has posted more than a handful of times then you have almost certainly helped shape this community into what it is and how it (and the general Elixir community) is perceived by outsiders. Please don’t ever forget how important you are and the weight and impact your words and actions have - and if you are a genuine and sincere participant, please don’t ever feel like you’re not a part of the community - because you very much are :hugs:

So with that said, thank you for everything you all do and here’s to a better 2021 - let’s hope it is a little kinder, a little cooler, and as amazing as it can be… with so much happening in the BEAM world of late, it certainly looks like that’s a given!

Happy 10th (ish!) Birthday to Elixir too! :birthday:

Stay safe and thank you once again for everything you all do :purple_heart:

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You might also be interested to know that (IIRC) Erlang is now 35 years old :heart:

Erlang Solutions is now also over 20 years old too :003:

Huge thanks to all of the Erlang community who, as well as in my view are part of the Elixir community too, have helped make all this possible :purple_heart:

Here’s to another 35, 20 and 10 years! :partying_face:

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If you develop a forum platform from scratch, is it realistic to follow the drupal path and develop a universal platform that can be used not only as a forum, but also as a blog, an online store, etc. using custom assemblies? I think the number of participants in such a project will be huge

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That’s a nice idea, but honestly, that’s what Phoenix (and Rails) is perfect for - because they allow you to create a custom solution that meets your specific needs in what I would consider a very modular way. It’s been a while since I used Drupal, but I honestly can’t see why anyone would use it now when we have Rails and Phoenix… because they make that kind of stuff really really easy :023:

The platform we have in mind isn’t strictly a forum platform either, but more of a community platform :048:

One of the things we have found over the years is that forums aren’t really great for very large or very active communities, or for smaller updates that you often want to share but don’t really want to dedicate an entire thread to (or want to get lost in a mega-thread). Devtalk is very new, yet we found the forum was getting way too many threads - admittedly many of them were automated or semi-automated but they reflect what the platform would be like with more active members posting exactly those kinds of threads (people posting blogs, general news, project updates, special offers, etc) and it was just too many. So for now we have compartmentalised news on to the homepage and portals, community chat on to the forum, and errata for our friends at PragProg into their custom section and their book portals.

There’s obviously more to it than just that and I don’t want to give too much away yet, but there’s nothing quite like what we have in mind and I’m soooo excited about sharing more as and when we can - watch this space! :003:

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Phoenix is a framework, not a CMS. When working with the framework, the developer has to do everything from scratch, even simple things. The CMS format is the best. what people came up with to quickly create websites. Although I like the community format better, because I think that even a regular blog should have social interaction functionality. If you create the ability to extend the core with additional modules at the design stage of your community architecture, then you will get a platform similar to a CMS.
The difference between elixir and php is that it will not slow down with a large amount of functionality. When creating a site in php, you have to give up many things to keep the site fast.

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