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Programming Elixir by Dave Thomas

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This Is Not Your Father’s Application

Because OTP comes from the Erlang world, it uses Erlang names for things. And unfortunately, some of these names are not terribly descriptive. The name application is one of these. When most of us talk about applications, we think of a program we run to do something—maybe on our computer or phone, or via a web browser. An application is a self-contained whole.

But in the OTP world, that’s not the case. Instead, an application is a bundle of code that comes with a descriptor. That descriptor tells the runtime what dependencies the code has, what global names it registers, and so on. In fact, an OTP application is more like a dynamic link library or a shared object than a conventional application.

It might ...

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