Lisp Flavored Erlang

January 9, 2009

While I was reading feeds today, I came across a reference to Lisp Flavored Erlang (also see the mailing list post). I’d heard about this several times before, but had not tried it. Since my Erlang complaints are still fresh in my mind, I decided to give it a go. Besides, I needed a mental break after spending all day concentrating on real work.


Here is a simple gen_server module written in LFE. So far I’m really liking this.

;; count_server.lfe
;; Simple gen_server example.

(defmodule count_server
  (behavior 'gen_server)

  ;; gen_server exports
   (init 1)
   (handle_call 3)
   (handle_cast 2)
   (handle_info 2)
   (terminate 2)
   (code_change 3))

  ;; public functions
   (start_link 0)
   (current 0)
   (next 0)))

;; gen_server implementation

(defun init (args)
  #(ok 0))

(defun handle_call 
  (('next _ n)
   (let ((new (+ n 1)))
     (tuple 'reply (tuple 'ok new) new)))
  (('current _ n)
   (tuple 'reply (tuple 'ok n) n)))

(defun handle_cast (req state)
  (tuple 'stop #(error not_implemented) state))

(defun handle_info (info state)
  (tuple 'stop #(error not_implemented) state))

(defun terminate (reason state)

(defun code_change (oldvsn state extra)
  (tuple 'ok state))

;; public functions

(defun start_link ()
  (: gen_server start_link #(local count_server) 'count_server () ()))

(defun current ()
  (: gen_server call 'count_server 'current))

(defun next ()
  (: gen_server call 'count_server 'next))


For those of you who are more into Python and Ruby, a Ruby like language with Python’s significant whitespace also exists for the Erlang VM. It’s called Reia. Perhaps I’ll check that out next.

The nice thing about these, is they compile to .beam files just like normal Erlang code, so you can use anything in Erlang, and anything in Erlang can use these modules.

Lisp Flavored Erlang - January 9, 2009 - Jack Moffitt