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Learn You Some Erlang For Great Good (learnyousomeerlang.com)
184 points by paulgb on Aug 18, 2009 | hide | past | favorite | 30 comments

Hello HN, I'm the guy who wrote the LYSE site! I Hope you'll enjoy it :) At least I have fun writing and drawing for it.

I'll always be fixing mistakes and technical points that were not caught in the reviewing process, so it's much appreciated if you give me comments and criticism. Feel free to speak your mind, I collect these ideas and build on them.

You have it under a fairly tight CC license. Is my automatically ripped PDF version legit enough?


It was an enjoyable read.

I might eventually relax the license. I'm a permissive guy and don't mind people sending links, copying or printing stuff, but I'd like to be notified about distribution (I would mainly allow non-commercial stuff, educational and archival purposes, fair use, etc), mainly because I want feedback to make sure the content is right. Some people caught simple arithmetic errors in my stuff already; it would suck to have distributed stuff being wrong because I couldn't update it. At least I can try and notify people who distributed it for some reason.

Your version is legit enough for me to ask you if I can link it in the FAQ under the question about books :)

What do you think? (I can host it, of course)

You should never have to ask to link something on the internet!

I'd prefer to host it, mainly because my technique is pretty crude at this point, and I do intend to improve the quality.

> You should never have to ask to link something on the internet!

It is considered good form to ask before linking if there is the possibility that you generate a ton of traffic to someone's personal server. It may not be configured with high load in mind, or it may have a small bandwidth quota.

Thank you for writing LYSE! This was my first exposure to the syntax and design behind Erlang, and it's really interesting to see the influence of Prolog shining through. I'm looking forward to the future chapters!

The Syntax is the first hard step to go over for many people. Erlang is hardly what you'd call an easy to read language, except if you've used functional languages before. The recursion and pattern matching are relatively uncommon (and different from what you can get from Haskell, too), with naming conventions and atoms also a bit weird at first.

Once you get used to it, it becomes very easy to read and concise language. Once you know it. (like anything else.)

The syntax turns off a lot of people. It's a shame because even if you might never use Erlang for personal or real-world project (although it's very well done for that), you'll see a different way to do error management and possibly to organize code, depending on what you've done before. It's worth learning.

Did you do the Haskell one as well?

_Why did you do this?

You need to make it more poignant. Perhaps you should pack up your shoes, some hpricots, and go camping. Lay it all out on a RedCloth, drink some potion, and get unHoly. Then, only then... may you reach optimum poignancy.

Some may or may not find that punny. Great work! I like the "guide" approach, and it's great to see one being written for Erlang. Keep it up!

Suddenly this comment seems more relevant.

Jeesh... is this thing on? Humor in puns people, humor in puns.

Granted I didn't realize there was also a Haskell variant of such a document. So many down votes makes a man sad... T_T

Getting the puns and thinking they're funny are two different things.

So harsh.


After some thought, I have come to the conclusion that the title page should be the official Erlang logo. Perhaps suitably shrunk down, but otherwise, totally the official logo. Don't forget the beard.

No, but that's the best argument for Lisp I've ever seen.

If this ends up being half as good as Learn You A Haskell, it will be well worth it. Good to see that you get their permission first

I know Miran from IRC, so it was a very friendly discussion.

I certainly aim to make it as good as LYAH, his online book is doing a great service to the Haskell community and I'd like Erlang to have something similar.

I absolutely love this site. 1000x thanks to the author. I've been toying with erlang for months; looks like the time has come to take the plunge!

I'm both excited and pissed that this came out.

Excited because it's awesome, pissed because my book didn't come out before this.

Edit: my book is still more children-based. :-)

I'll probably end up reading it. Is it referenced anywhere?

It's not out yet, though I'm planning to release it by mid december.

Send me a notification at that point then! my email is straight on the first page of the site, so I'm easy to find ;)

Great article/mini book. The only thing I miss is a more hands on problem solving example, its such a fun way to start learning something compared to just reading technical detail. Would certainly widen the crowd if you provided both :)

I'm still waiting on the Monads chapter in LYAH :)

Yeah, LYSE is a great idea... now we need an OCaml version as well.

This is great! I like the style, love that octopus logo (beard is just perfect), and like the formatting.

One thing--and this might be me--that I would change is the color of the body text. It's not dark enough.

high quality doc is almost as rare as it is valuable. A noble task, kudos and may you not loose your steam!

Great start, was enjoyable and informative. Looking forward to the next chapters...

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