View Source Introduction

This section is a quick start tutorial to get you started with Erlang. Everything in this section is true, but only part of the truth. For example, only the simplest form of the syntax is shown, not all esoteric forms. Also, parts that are greatly simplified are indicated with manual. This means that a lot more information on the subject is to be found in the Erlang book or in Erlang Reference Manual.


The reader of this section is assumed to be familiar with the following:

  • Computers in general
  • Basics on how computers are programmed

Omitted Topics

The following topics are not treated in this section:

  • References.
  • Local error handling (catch/throw).
  • Single direction links (monitor).
  • Handling of binary data (binaries / bit syntax).
  • List comprehensions.
  • How to communicate with the outside world and software written in other languages (ports); this is described in Interoperability Tutorial.
  • Erlang libraries (for example, file handling).
  • OTP and (in consequence) the Mnesia database.
  • Hash tables for Erlang terms (ETS).
  • Changing code in running systems.