Using Elixir for Shell Scripting

Using Elixir for Shell Scripting

Source: arathunku.com

Type: Post

This article suggests that when bash scripts become complex, it's worth considering Elixir for shell scripting due to its versatility. Elixir allows for easy addition of dependencies, debugging, iteration, and even writing tests within a single file. The ecosystem, with tools like LiveBook and dependencies such as Req, enhances the developer experience. The article includes a code snippet of a basic Elixir script and describes a more comprehensive starting template. The template includes features such as argument parsing and handlers for dependency management in continuous integration. The author covers commands for executing and managing subprocesses, output and color handling in the console, exiting with specific codes, trapping system signals, and writing tests alongside code using ExUnit. Additionally, the author touches on the possibility of expanding beyond simple scripts to full-text user interface (TUI) applications with libraries like Ratatouille and building single Elixir CLI binaries with Burrito. The conclusion reiterates that Elixir's suitability for shell scripting depends on the user's familiarity and needs, highlighting the language's startup speed as the only significant drawback.

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