When diving into the world of Elixir, two essential concepts to understand are functions and modules. Elixir is a functional programming language, which means functions are the lifeblood of Elixir code. In this article, we'll explore functions, both anonymous and named, as well as modules and how they help organize and structure your Elixir projects.
Functions in Elixir
In Elixir, functions are first-class citizens, which means they can be passed around, assigned to variables, and used just like any other value. There are two types of functions in Elixir: anonymous functions and named functions.
Anonymous functions, as the name suggests, don't have a name. They are defined using the
fn keyword and can be assigned to variables. To invoke an anonymous function, the
. operator is used. Here's an example to help illustrate this concept:
In the example above, we define an anonymous function that takes two arguments and returns their sum. We then assign this function to the variable
add. To call the function, we use the
. operator, as seen in
Named functions, on the other hand, are functions with a specific name, and they must be defined inside a module. We'll discuss modules in more detail in the next section, but for now, let's see how to define a named function:
In this example, we define a named function called
add inside the
Math module. The named function can be called using the module name followed by the function name, like
Modules in Elixir
Modules are the building blocks of Elixir code, providing a way to organize and structure your functions. They play a crucial role in managing the complexity of larger projects. Modules are defined using the
defmodule keyword, and named functions are defined within them. Let's explore an example:
In this example, we define a
Greetings module that contains two named functions:
goodbye. These functions can be accessed using the module name followed by the function name, as seen in the
Elixir relies heavily on functions and modules for code organization and structure. Understanding how to work with anonymous and named functions, as well as modules, is fundamental to becoming proficient in Elixir. By mastering these concepts, you'll be well on your way to writing clean, maintainable, and efficient Elixir code.