Phoenix project without macros, a tiny study

I made a little study because I’ve been thinking about what a Phoenix / Plug app would look like without any macros: Mikko Ahlroth / Feeniks · GitLab

It only has a start, Plug pipelines, a router, and a controller. It serves HTTP and parses params. Code reloader also works. It’s missing router helpers / verified routes (I think infeasible without macros), views (didn’t look at them yet), error pages, and channels / LV (I fear those would be really difficult but I didn’t look at them yet). Also it’s missing docblocks right now.

The aim was that you could take any part of this and replace it with a normal Phoenix version and it would work. But since Phoenix adds some stuff to Plug.Conn private parts, that doesn’t work completely now. I think I’ll still take a look at the template/view system and how I could call/compile them without macros while still maintaining the same performance characteristics.

And yes, I’m calling some functions at compile time to build the plugs, but let’s say I’m not using defmacro at least. :smiley:

This is not meant to be for real use, but maybe it’ll give some idea of what is happening under those macros, though the code is paraphrased


Fyi, link to repo is broken. Some weird character at the end of it (zero-width-space?).

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Thanks, copied it from Mastodon and it must have broken somehow.

Another reason for this is that I’m looking at Gleam right now and in Gleam you cannot call Elixir macros (or have any metaprogramming at all). You could write all the web stuff in Elixir and call that from Gleam but I want to see how far I can push Gleam.

In fact those plug pipelines would need to be rewritten for Gleam as you can’t call functions at compile time in it like that. So it’s not just a straightforward translation.


I am aware of this function and would probably use it in Gleam. It runs all plug inits at runtime whereas Feeniks runs them at compile time like standard Plug.

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