During my dwelling in Elixir I’ve gathered quite a few nifty tips and tricks. I’m writing them down for a personal cookbook, but I hope it will help someone to spark interest in a platform. Here we go.

Ecto Datetime Helpers

Let’s start with Ecto. Not so long ago I’ve discovered Ecto’s datetime query api.

I’m talking about next functions:

Date/time intervals: datetime_add/3, date_add/3, from_now/2, ago/2

What one can do with them:

from s in Subscriptions, where s.expires_at < from_now(1, "week")
# or
from p in Post, where: p.published_at > ago(3, "month")

Full list of supported intervals: year, month, week, day, hour, minute, second, millisecond and microsecond.

It definitely should save couple of keystrokes which in turn makes requests easier to grasp.

Interpolation in docs

Nobody likes outdated documentation. One trick to keep docs up to date is to reduce amount of copy pasting with docs interpolation:

defmodule HTTPClient do
  @timeout 60_000

  @doc """
  Times out after #{@timeout} seconds
  def get(url) do

As you can see, I’ve directly used #{@timeout} in doc comment.


If you ever wandered where iex got its stylish colors from wander no more. The source of it is IO.ANSI module.

It’s quite easy to colorize our own logs with it:

IO.puts(IO.ANSI.bright() <> "hello" <> IO.ANSI.red() <> " world")

Or one can proceed further and build reusable styles like in IO.ANSI.Docs. Try and mimic h formatting:

IO.ANSI.Docs.print_heading("Yokoso into Elixir Documentation")


It’s quite easy to stumble upon something peculiar even in familiar packets, you just need to lurk around in the first place. That’s it for today. Share your finding with me at twitter.