Elm in a nutshell

Hi Folks !

I was wondering on how to think, write and tell about elm holistically. How would you think, write and tell about Elm to someone completely unaware of technological topics or someone who is not too much experienced with programming or comes from another perspective of programming ?

I think of things like:

  • What is Elm ?
  • How does it work ?
  • What are the Pro’s and Con’s ?
  • How do you get deeper into it ?
  • Are there challenges ?
  • How does Elm evolve in simple terms ?
  • What do you think about it’s future ?
  • Is it more than just about programming ?
  • What are the principles of Elm ?
  • How do you keep an overview of it’s resources and which resources are actually helpful ?
  • How do you introduce and learn advanced Elm topics simply ?
  • How does one participate in the development of Elm ?
  • What does organic advancement mean in terms of Elm ?
  • Where to find a central Resource of Documentation either from community or official ?
  • What can Elm do from a Business perspective ?
  • What about the Web APIs in Elm ?
  • Where can you find scaffolds for your Elm project ? (e.g. the default architecture, games, packages…)
  • How does the community make impact on elm development ? Can it ?
  • How to keep and overview of different useful Patterns in Elm ? Even if you are not working with it day by day ?
  • Which Elm Meetups exist and where can I join ?
  • Which conferences are planned and how can I attend ?
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When I speak to my wife or other friends and family who don’t know much if anything about programming I usually talk about how Elm is a programming language for building web sites or web apps. I don’t explain how it works usually as that’s not really important for them. I explain how it provides a way for being more expressive about the information you’re working with. An example I’ve used before is that most web site programming allows "horse" + 5, but Elm won’t. There’s probably a better way to get across the idea of types, but this is where I’m at in my explanation right now. I also talk about how Elm is relatively simple compared to javascript. How it’s a lot easier to talk about. How it’s friendlier with its error messages, I really like to highlight the friendliness.

From a business perspective I talk about how I find it very quick to work in Elm, quick but also secure. How its expressiveness (its type system makes this easier). I also bring up that it’s easier to refactor large amounts of code which is important for business, being able to change quickly.

As far as community I’d highlight the Slack and the conferences. I’ve referred to the Elm Slack in a few other of my Slack communities because I think it excels at being welcoming. I don’t go too much into specifics about the conferences with people who aren’t programming.

Also, when it comes to business I’ve started to try and use Elm’s stability more as a good thing. I know there was a big todo when Elm went from 0.18 to 0.19 but compared to working in other front end frameworks it’s been quite stable. As I explained to some coworkers the other day, the Elm I was writing 2 years ago is identical to the Elm I write today and will most likely be the same Elm I’m writing 2 years from now. The Ember I write today isn’t the same Ember I was writing 6 months ago, or 6 months before that, etc. The same is also true for React https://twitter.com/kadikraman/status/1308390711809789959?s=19, though slightly closer to Elm.


To a non-technical person:
Less bugs, lower maintenance cost, no fear of changing things. And eventually (at least at NoRedInk) easier recruiting, of better coders who are reluctant to “foot-shooting” programming styles.

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