Languages, and about languages, on the BEAM
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Languages, and about languages, on the BEAM


This document is intended to list (a) languages implemented to run on the BEAM, the Erlang virtual machine, and (b) documents (articles & presentations) about the hows and whys of writing languages to run on the BEAM.

For the moment, and for want of a better name, I call such languages “BEAM languages” (although I have heard that there are other Erlang VMs, …).

I would like the document to be comprehensive, or at least “representative”. If I have missed a BEAM language, some noteworthy discussion about a BEAM language, or documentation about implementing languages targetting the BEAM, please let me know through the usual channels (issues, forks, PRs, tweets, emails, etc.).

Thank you.


Erlang itself, then the Lisp-influenced languages, then in alphabetical order.


joxa (2011+)

Differences Between Joxa and LFE

Joxa: A Full Featured Lisp on the Erlang VM

lfe (2008+)

‘the concurrent schemer’ (2013+)

alpaca (2016+)

efene (2009+)

elixir (2011+)

eml (2012)

“eml - Erlang flavored by Some ML”

erl2 (2012)

Announcement and ensuing discussion on erlang-questions
“A Few Improvements to Erlang” (EUC 2012)
A blog post about the above presentation in Chinese

erlog (2008+)

Backtracking in Erlang, part 1 - control

erlyjs (2008-2013?)

The original repo (on Google Code) no longer exists, but there are several forks, e.g.:

A couple of blog posts from 2008 (the second is by the original developer of erlyjs):

ErlyJS: JavaScript on Erlang
ErlyJS - translating Javascript to Erlang

haskerl et al. (1993-2014?)

The Haskerl Index
Yhc/Erlang/Proof of concept

idris-erlang (2014-15)

This is an Idris package (therefore requiring Haskell and Idris) which compiles Idris source code into erlang source code.

interfix (2015)

luerl (2012+)

purerl (2016+)

Erlang backend for PureScript

Introducing PureScript Erlang

reia (-2011)

xerl (2013)

Five web articles in 2013 starting with:

About Languages

Erlang, LFE, Joxa and Elixir: Established and Emerging Languages in the Erlang Ecosystem


Implementing Languages on the BEAM (1)


Implementing Languages on the BEAM (2)

(slides & video)

Create Your Own Language: How to implement a language on top of Erlang Virtual Machine (BEAM)


Eric Merritt, Erlang and distributed systems expert, gives his views on BEAM languages, Hindley–Milner type systems and new technologies

(article/interview, with links to podcast & video)

Erlang and Types

These first two papers are linked from Philip Wadler’s erlang page:

A practical subtyping system for Erlang


The great type hope


Om: Erlang System F-Omega (Erlang with Types Proposal)