As Erlang continues to grow in popularity, people are thinking about how to capture the advantages of Erlang’s VM and shared-nothing architecture, but present it in a more accessible way. Reia is the latest attempt on that front. Why? Tony Arcieri starts with testing, with the goal of taking Reia and creating a declarative testing/mocking framework similar to RTest in Ruby. Further, his philosophy is that the language shouldn’t get in the way, and that a Ruby/Python-like language is needed to make it easier to grow adoption:
Most programmers are used to dealing with imperative languages. In the case of Erlang, a programmer is asked to make multiple conceptual leaps at once: from imperative to declarative, from procedural to functional, and from synchronous to asynchronous. Erlang has good reasons for asking you to make these leaps, but for most people this is too many leaps to make at once, and thus Erlang is too “weird” for them to understand.
Reia is available on GitHub, but still much is undone. Briefly, it has a Ruby-like syntax with Python-style indentation. Its closures and variables are not bound upon first assignment.
We’ll be following Reia’s progress over the coming months.