Musings on some recent videos by Dave and José


I just watched a thought-provoking video by Dave Thomas:

The Best OO Language is a Functional One

The talk brings together ideas that Dave Thomas has been working on for a while. It touches on functional and object-oriented programming, hardware speed and power consumption, state, time, transformations, etc. Quite interesting and tasty…

I’m particularly pleased by the continuing evolution of Dave’s tooling, eg:

  • Diet supports architecting programs as sets of transformation recipes.
  • Diet.Debug allows time-traveling debugging over trees of execution paths.
  • Jeeves wraps (sets of) GenServers in a tasty OO-like DSL.

I also watched a (predictably) interesting talk by José Valim:

Introducing HDD: Hughes Driven Development

This talk brings together the topics of code formatting and property-based testing (aka generative testing). I like the fact that José (like Dave) encourages folks to forage through odd corners of computer science lore, pulling out cool and useful ideas (and giving credit freely and generously to the lore’s originators).

The implementation of these ideas in Elixir is already raising the level of discourse and practice; it will continue to do so in the future. As it becomes easier to create and manage distributed sets of processes, we’ll find more need for features such as back pressure (ie, GenStage), truth maintenance (ie, Phoenix Presence), etc.


FWIW, Diet and Jeeves look like a nice way to solve a problem I’ve been considering. I’m putting together a system (AxAp) that tries to make various kinds of documents more accessible. For example, it currently handles EPUB3 and some text file formats. Obviously, this involves a lot of transformations. More to the point, many of the transformations can be used in multiple processing chains.

Assuming that the necessary transformations have been encoded, it should be possible to perform dependency analysis and generate a recipe for any producible output. Of course, DIET and Jeeves would be on hand to handle the ugly details…



Nice thread :023:

I love this too :purple_heart: and I think it’s a big reason why so many of us are so attracted to Elixir - for a better way of doing things (sometimes with a modern take on old ideas).

Not sure if you’ve seen it, but I highly recommend Elixir for Programmers (PragDave) (Currently on offer for $30!) - it made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up :003:

I haven’t seen the videos or looked at Diet or Jeeves yet, but I am sure I will at some point - I always pay attention when Dave, José and Chris get excited about something :slight_smile:


Thanks for the pointer. At $30, it’s a no-brainer.

I was very pleased by the fact that José responded quite positively to the notion of bringing Clojure.spec over to Elixir. The Clojure folks have done (and continue to do) some fine work; well worth stealing! For example, I’d love to have an Elixir version of Transit (


Yep, it really is a no brainer - and thats actually why I asked Dave to drop the price, to make it too good to refuse :lol:

I don’t think Clojure Spec is coming btw - the gains may be too marginal.


5 posts were split to a new topic: Scrutinizing the role and use of design patterns

I can also recommend the Dave course… is amazing how easy he makes to on board into Elixir and loved is better approach to structure code than the traditional one followed in the Elixir and Erlang communities.

I will watch thsi videos as soon as I can… Thanks for sharing @Rich_Morin

Maybe someone with forum-fu should split it off so we can get back on track.

I assume that anyone can start a new topic (eg, “on the proper use of design patterns”) and put a link to it in this one. If there’s a more formal way to do this, I don’t know of it. That said, let’s try to get back to the original themes of my post.

I’d like to see some suggestions on fundamental infrastructure that the Elixir ecosystem is currently (or arguably, should be) implementing. Here are a few examples, as a starting point (ducks):