Elixir and Erlang Ecosystem?

Adolfo Neto
3 min readDec 15, 2018


Everybody in the Elixir community (I believe) knows that there is a strong relationship between Elixir and Erlang.

For instance, in the Elixir site there is an “Erlang/Elixir Syntax: A Crash Course”, a “quick introduction to the Elixir syntax for Erlang developers and vice-versa.”

So, can I say that there is a BEAM community, including all people interested in BEAM languages and sub-communities (which intersect):
— Elixir community
— Erlang community
— LFE community
— Luerl community
— Efene community


Supporting this idea of a larger BEAM community with sub-communities, @CodeBEAMio is a series of conferences that tries to bring “all the languages that run on the BEAM together, including Erlang and Elixir".

There are also events for the whole BEAM community, such as Spawnfest:

“Spawnfest is an annual 48 hour free online development competition in which teams of skilled developers from around the world get exactly one weekend to create the best BEAM-based applications they can.”

Regarding Meetups, in Buenos Aires @elbrujohalcon organizes a BEAM meetup group: BeamBA: Erlang, Elixir, Efene & LFE Buenos Aires User Group. There you can read this explanation by Robert Virding, co-creator of Erlang:

“After the keynote by José Valim and Dave Thomas at the Erlang Factory in San Francisco there were of course many discussions on the IRC Elixir channel. Some were advocating a split in the community into two separate communities. I personally think this would be a bad thing for a number of reasons:

- The Erlang/Elixir combined community is not that large and splitting it into smaller parts would not help any of us. It would also be an easy target of derision: “look only 2 members and already 3 groups”.

- Both Erlang and Elixir are part of the Erlang “ecosystem” and not really independant. This also applies to other languages like LFE and Joxa which are also based on the fundamental principle that the interface between the language and OTP should be seemless. This could easily and unnecessarily confuse people who aren’t in the know.Fortunately, from my point of view, there were others who disagreed with this and would prefer to keep it as one community.” -

One doubt I have is: Do Elixir programmers outnumber all other BEAM programmers?

Other doubt is: should we call it “BEAM Ecosystem” or “Erlang Ecosystem”? I have read that Bruce Tate recently used the term "Erlang Ecosystem” and that Francesco Cesarini submitted a proposal for a nonprofit organization called Erlang Ecosystem Foundation:

Other options for the name of the larger community could be:
— Elixir ecosystem
— Erlang/Elixir ecosystem
— Elixir/Erlang ecosystem
— Erlang and Elixir ecosystem

At @Meetup, there is a list of “All Elixir Meetups” (Topic: Elixir) but there is no list of “All Erlang Meetups” nor “All BEAM Meetups”.

From the 223 meetup groups in the Elixir category:
- 22 include “Erlang” in their name
- 3 include “BEAM” in their name

The main options for the names of members of the meetup groups are:

  • Alchemists: 52 groups
  • Elixirists: 8 groups
  • BEAMers: 5 goups
  • Erlangers: 5 groups
  • Alchemists & Erlangers: 1 group

I was only looking for name related to Erlang, Elixir and/or BEAM. There are also other variations for the names of members which I haven’t counted:
- Erlangutans & Alchemists
- Erlangutans and Elixirians
- Alchemists & Erlangers
- Erlixers

- Alquimista de Elixir
- Alquimistas
- Alchimiștii
- Elixir Users
- Elixers Tops
- Elixir Lovers
- Elixerans
- Elixorians
- Elixir Enthusiasts
- Erlixers
- Elixires
- Elixiers
- Elixir Programmers

- Processes
- Mixologists
- Mixers
- Sippers (this one I didn’t understand)

This post originated as a thread on Twitter:




Adolfo Neto

Associate Professor at UTFPR. Interested in programming (Elixir), logic and Deep Work.