Elixir is a dynamic, functional programming language built on the Erlang virtual machine (BEAM). It was created by José Valim in 2012 with a focus on productivity, extensibility, and concurrency.
The command line tool for Elixir, also named "elixir," is used to compile and run Elixir code. It provides several functionalities such as executing scripts, opening an interactive shell (IEx), compiling modules, and managing dependencies.
Here are some key features of the Elixir command line tool:
Script Execution: Elixir code can be executed directly from the command line by specifying the script file's path. This makes it convenient to run standalone programs and one-time scripts.
Interactive Shell (IEx): The
iexcommand launches an interactive shell that allows developers to experiment with Elixir code, test functions, and write ad hoc queries. IEx provides features like code evaluation, tab completion, code reloading, and a rich set of helpers for debugging and introspection.
elixirccommand is used to compile Elixir source code into bytecode, which can be executed by the BEAM VM. It compiles the Elixir code into beam files (.beam) that are ready for execution. The compiler provides optimizations, warnings, and error messages.
Documentation: Elixir has a robust documentation system, and the
elixircommand provides tools to generate and display documentation. It can generate HTML documentation for Elixir projects and also provides a command (
h) within the interactive shell to access documentation for various Elixir functions and modules.
Dependency Management: Elixir uses a package manager called Mix, which simplifies dependency management. The
mixcommand is used to create, manage, and build Elixir projects along with their dependencies. Mix leverages Hex, the package manager for Elixir, to fetch and manage project dependencies.
Overall, the elixir command line tool serves as a versatile interface to compile, run, and manage Elixir code, making it a powerful tool for Elixir developers.