What's Next?

In order to make this tutorial as simple as possible, many details about how LFE works have been glossed or fudged over. The aim of this little book is to provide a fun exposure to some of LFE's ideas, not to provide an in-depth introduction to the language, to distributed systems, and the theories behind these both.

That being said, should the curious reader want to learn more, where can they go? And what was skipped in the first place?

Starting with the second bit first, here are some of the key points we have largely ignored:

  • The differences between writing code in the REPL and creating proper projects complete with the appropriate directory structures, modules, etc.
  • A discussion of the data types supported by LFE
  • Comparing and contrasting if, cond, and pattern-matching as conditional flow mechanisms
  • No in-depth discussion of records nor detailed information about the automatically-generated record macros
  • No detailed explanation of higher-order functions
  • Only a passing explanation of macros
  • No in-depth discussion of light-weight Erlang/LFE processes

And where can you go for additional reading and learning materials? Currently, the documentation for LFE is a bit limited, though growing (in fits and starts). The documentation web site is currently getting an overhaul and should be much better in a few months. The first chapter of the classic work Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs is available for LFE. Another great resource for LFE is browsing the archives of the LFE blog, many posts in which are actually tutorials.

For mastering some of the basics of Lisp, we recommend the following:

  • Practical Common Lisp by Peter Seibel
  • Principles of Artificial Intelligence by Peter Norvig (largely a text on Lisp)
  • On Lisp by Paul Graham
  • Land of Lisp by Conrad Barski (the auther of the original Casting SPELs in Lisp)

For Erlang, probably the most accessible is Learn You Some Erlang for Great Good (LYSE), through there are also other excellent resources. LYSE is freely available online, while most other Erlang books (also quite good) are pay for download or available in print (including LYSE).