Elixir Outlaws - New Elixir Podcast

Episode three was release late last night or super early this morning. I’m really not sure. It was a long evening of editing.


What’s the subject of episode 3?

Pronounciation of @michalmuskala’s name. At least that’s what I heard on twitter :wink:

I wasn’t able to listen to it so far. I only listen to podcasts on my daily commute, but in Germany today is a holiday and I took a day off yesterday.

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Teaching and community.

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Great to see another episode :023:

I was very eager to hear your views about the community and definitely agree about making it as accessible, welcoming and fun as possible - hopefully we have done a great job of that on this forum :003:

Would also like to quickly mention that there are many people who may never go to a conference or local meet-up but nevertheless can (like many of our members here on the forum, IRC or Slack) still be a big part of the community… helping shape it into something special. In many ways the online communities are the first port of call for newcomers hence us trying to be as welcoming and helpful as we can :slight_smile: please don’t forget about us when talking about the community :purple_heart:


I will set a reminder to say something on the next episode, and if I don’t announce the forums I will add a link to the forums now.


Thanks Amos, though please don’t alter your schedule on our account. Perhaps if you do another similar episode about the community you could give the hardworking members of online communities, and what they do for the community, a mention :purple_heart:


Episode 4 is out. It was helpful for me. I hope it is for you too.


I’ve listened to all episodes, great stuff, really appreciate the expert knowledge on property testing among other things.

2 questions for Chris @keathley

  1. As I recall, you mentioned that Elixir has some specific technical shortcomings that are slowing it’s adoption. I’d love to hear more about what those are.

  2. I appreciated the speaking tips in episode 5. I’d personally love to hear how you prepare your talks, despite your feeling that it won’t work for others – I bet it will for at least some.

Thanks, keep up the great work!


We will probably reach back at these things in a future episode. Today we recorded an episode about the current config proposals.

Thanks for listening.

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Oh boy, this one is complicated and I wanna make sure I don’t come across as overly critical here :smile:. I’ll preface all of this by saying that these aren’t my complaints as much as they are things I’ve heard from clients and such. Also a lot of these “issues” are being worked on so maybe they won’t be limitations for much longer. Basically no one needs to feel compelled to correct me or explain how these are non-issues. I’m just a messenger and these are criticisms people have presented me with :smile:. I promise that I’ve done my share of arguing on the side of elixir. With that disclaimer out of the way here’s the stuff that comes up:

  • Configuration. Obviously being worked on but figuring out how to tie into existing config systems like vault / etcd / etc. is non-obvious
  • Deployment. Also being worked on. Currently, deploying elixir is a bit of a free for all. Some people build releases. Some just use mix. Some people deploy with git. Sometimes docker is involved. Sometimes people use hot code reloads. Contrast this with putting a rails app in a docker container, building a binary with Go, or building a jar in java and it feels less standardized and less obvious what the “right” thing to do is. Many new people feel paralyzed by choice.
  • “Why do I need Erlang when I have gRPC” - When people need distribution there are now standard tools like grpc for cross node communication. This is often easier to adopt in an existing stack then picking up a new language. Not to say that we can’t use gRPC from elixir. Just that it removes one of the marketing bullet points. Its very similar to other popular question I get…
  • “Why do I need X when I have Kubernetes?” - I’ve been presented with this rebuttal for practically all of the features that I love about elixir. Concurrency, fault tolerance, “scalability”, you name it and (apparently) k8s can solve it all. Honestly, I’m not sure how to fix this from a marketing perspective. I think its hard for people to see the benefits until they’ve actually used the tools.
  • Robust “2nd tier” libraries - I’m not sure how to describe this correctly. I’m not trying to place a value judgement by using the term “2nd tier”. I just mean libraries that are less general to all problems and are thus less popular. Once you get past Phoenix, Ecto, etc. there’s just less usage and less support for the other libraries in the ecosystem. For instance, I had a client choose to use a ruby kafka library over an elixir library because it was getting updates for new kafka features faster and was backed by a large company. I think this is a factor of the size of the community so I’m not sure if there is a good solution here.
  • “The BEAM is slow” - This comes up a LOT and leads people to choose runtimes like Go or the JVM over the BEAM. I think we need to do a better job of marketing around this point. There are plenty of ways to make a BEAM application fast (or at least fast enough) whether its nifs, ports, hype, etc. Efforts like https://www.elixirbench.org are a really good step in that direction. Another really obvious thing (as silly as it is) would be our techempower benchmarks. I’ve seen elixir tossed out of contention because of those dumb things. That’s not glamorous work but elixir is still a niche language and these sorts of things are low-hanging fruit that do have an impact. Removing that sorta negative marketing can’t really be bad.

A bunch of people have asked me for this so I’m going to try to write something up on my blog. I’ll be sure to post here when its finished.


Thanks Chris! I appreciate your thorough and thoughtful reply.

As I’m reflecting on these points raised by others to you, the library support is the only one that might concern me – and so far I’ve found the Elixir libraries we’ve needed to be available and excellent.

Also thanks for Wallaby, fantastic tool!

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I think this is a generally true statement and I don’t wanna drag anyone’s library or time or effort. I just think that once you go off the beaten track libraries start to get less love simply because they get less use. I think that’s a by-product of the number of people in the community and the number of companies willing to put time and energy into OSS more then it is anything.

Thanks so much! Glad you’re enjoying it.

We are up to over 20K downloads and to celebrate we had some special Friend of the Show on. @chrismccord, and @josevalim, thanks for coming on and making a great episode.


Cool, the feature I contributed to Ecto got a mention at 20:47. :blush:


Great episode, thanks all! Strange audio track sync issues though. Seemed like Anna’s audio track at least was way out of sync (maybe 10-20 seconds), maybe other audio tracks too. Leading to long silences, and parts where people appeared to talk over each other. Listened on Google Play FWIW.


I haven’t been able to make it through a full episode in a while. The volume differences are too large. (for example) I have to turn up the volume to hear Jose / Anna and then quickly turn it down for everyone else. I don’t want to be a negative nancy so please take this as me trying to help :wink:

Sorry about that. We’re working on improving our mastering process.


Great episode though. Really liked the discussions about about making decisions for an open source community like Elixir. Really helped elucidate just how hard and nuanced these problems are.


Thanks! I promise you all that we are working hard. We are doing our editing and trying to keep the costs down. That lets us do our own thing, and not worry about placating to sponsors. It also means that you don’t have to listen to commercials. Does that make us GDPR compatible? lol

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