Book Image

Elixir Cookbook

By : Paulo Pereira
Book Image

Elixir Cookbook

By: Paulo Pereira

Overview of this book

Table of Contents (16 chapters)
Elixir Cookbook
About the Author
About the Reviewers

Loading and compiling modules

It is possible to load code from source files into an IEx session. Multiple modules may be loaded and used, allowing us to incorporate existing code into our prototyping or idea testing session.

Getting ready

In this recipe, we will be importing two files that define the Greeter and Echoer modules into our IEx session.

In the following lines, we will list the contents of these modules:

defmodule Greeter do

  def greet(name \\ "you") do
    "Hello #{name} !"


defmodule Echoer do

  def echo(msg) do
    IO.puts "#{msg} ... #{msg} ...... #{msg}"



Downloading the example code

You can download the example code files from your account at for all the Packt Publishing books you have purchased. If you purchased this book elsewhere, you can visit and register to have the files e-mailed directly to you.

How to do it…

We will follow these steps to load and compile the modules:

  1. Start IEx:

  2. Load the Greeter module defined in greeter.ex:

    iex(1)> c("greeter.ex")
  3. Load the Echoer module defined in echoer.ex:

    iex(2)> c("echoer.ex")
  4. Use the greet function defined in the Greeter module:

    iex(3)> Greeter.greet("Me")
    "Hello Me !"
  5. Use the echo function defined in the Echoer module:

    iex(4)> Echoer.echo("hello")
    hello ... hello ...... hello
  6. Combine the functions defined in both modules:

    iex(7)> Greeter.greet("Me") |> Echoer.echo
    Hello Me ! ... Hello Me ! ...... Hello Me !


Some functions may have default values. They are denoted by the use of \\. In the Greeter module, the greet function is defined as def greet(name \\ "you"), which means that if we omit the argument passed to the function, it will default to you.

How it works…

When c("file_name.ex") is invoked from IEx, the file is loaded and compiled (a corresponding file with the .beam extension will be created).

The module (or modules) defined on each imported file become available. It is possible to invoke functions on these modules using the ModuleName.function_name(args) syntax.

If a module_name.beam file exists for a given module, then every time you import that module into an IEx session, you will see the following warning:

module_name.ex:1: warning: redefining module ModuleName

The warning means that a new compiled .beam file is being created, potentially redefining the module. If no changes were made to the source code, the code will be the same, although the warning is still issued.

In step 6, the pipe operator (|>) is used to simplify the code. This operator means that the output of the left operation will be fed as the first argument to the right operation.

This is equivalent to writing the following:


There's more…

In steps 2 and 3, the greeter.ex and echoer.ex files are imported without indicating the path because they are under the same directory from where the IEx session was started.

It is possible to use relative or full paths when loading files:

  • We can use relative paths like this:

    iex(1)> c("../greeter.ex")
  • We can use full paths like this:

    iex(2)> c("/home/user/echoer.ex")


    Note that the c IEx function accepts a string as an argument.