Changelog for Elixir v1.12

Elixir v1.12 is out with improvements to scripting, tighter Erlang/OTP 24 integration, stepped ranges, and dozen of new functions across the standard library. Overall this is a small release, which continues our tradition of bringing Elixir developers quality of life improvements every 6 months.

Elixir v1.12 requires Erlang/OTP 22+. We also recommend running mix local.rebar after installation to upgrade to the latest Rebar versions, which includes support for Erlang OTP/24+.

Scripting improvements: Mix.install/2 and System.trap_signal/3

Elixir v1.12 brings new conveniences for those using Elixir for scripting (via .exs files). Elixir has been capable of managing dependencies for a quite long time, but it could only be done within Mix projects. In particular, the Elixir team is wary of global dependencies as any scripts that rely on system packages are brittle and hard to reproduce whenever your system changes.

Mix.install/2 is meant to be a sweetspot between single-file scripts and full-blown Mix projects. With Mix.install/2, you can list your dependencies on top of your scripts. When you execute the script for the first time, Elixir will download, compile, and cache your dependencies before running your script. Future invocations of the script will simply read the compiled artefacts from the cache:

Mix.install([:jason])
IO.puts Jason.encode!(%{hello: :world})

Mix.install/2 also performs protocol consolidation, which gives script developers an option to execute their code in the most performant format possible.

Note: Mix.install/2 is currently experimental and it may change in future releases.

Another improvement to scripting is the ability to trap exit signals via System.trap_signal/3. All you need is the signal name and a callback that will be invoked when the signal triggers. For example, ExUnit leverages this functionality to print all currently running tests when you abort the test suite via SIGQUIT (Ctrl+\\):

$ mix test
.......................................................................
.....................^\

Aborting test suite, the following have not completed:

* test query building [test/ecto/query_test.exs:48]
* test placeholders in Repo.insert_all [test/ecto/repo_test.exs:502]

Showing results so far...

78 doctests, 1042 tests, 0 failures

This is particularly useful when your tests get stuck and you want to know which one is the culprit.

Important: Trapping signals may have strong implications on how a system shuts down and behave in production and therefore it is extremely discouraged for libraries to set their own traps. Instead, they should redirect users to configure them themselves. The only cases where it is acceptable for libraries to set their own traps is when using Elixir in script mode, such as in .exs files and via Mix tasks.

Tighter Erlang/OTP 24 integration

Erlang/OTP 24 ships with JIT compilation support and Elixir developers don't have to do anything to reap its benefits. There are many other features in Erlang/OTP 24 to look forwards to and Elixir v1.12 provides integration with many of them: such as support for 16bit floats in bitstrings as well as performance improvements in the compiler and during code evaluation.

Another excellent feature in Erlang/OTP 24 is the implementation of EEP 54, which provides extended error information for many functions in Erlang's stdlib. Elixir v1.12 fully leverages this feature to improve reporting for errors coming from Erlang. For example, in earlier OTP versions, inserting an invalid argument into a ETS table that no longer exists would simply error with ArgumentError:

Interactive Elixir (1.11.0)
iex(1)> ets = :ets.new(:example, [])
#Reference<0.3845811859.2669281281.223553>
iex(2)> :ets.delete(ets)
true
iex(3)> :ets.insert(ets, :should_be_a_tuple)
** (ArgumentError) argument error
    (stdlib 3.15) :ets.insert(#Reference<0.3845811859.2669281281.223553>, :should_be_a_tuple)

However, in Elixir v1.12 with Erlang/OTP 24:

Interactive Elixir (1.12.0)
iex(1)> ets = :ets.new(:example, [])
#Reference<0.105641012.1058144260.76455>
iex(2)> :ets.delete(ets)
true
iex(3)> :ets.insert(ets, :should_be_a_tuple)
** (ArgumentError) errors were found at the given arguments:

  * 1st argument: the table identifier does not refer to an existing ETS table
  * 2nd argument: not a tuple

    (stdlib 3.15) :ets.insert(#Reference<0.105641012.1058144260.76455>, :should_be_a_tuple)

Finally, note Rebar v2 no longer works on Erlang/OTP 24+. Mix defaults to Rebar v3 since v1.4, so no changes should be necessary by the huge majority of developers. However, if you are explicitly setting manager: :rebar in your dependency, you want to move to Rebar v3 by removing the :manager option. Support for unsupported Rebar versions will be removed from Mix in the future.

Stepped ranges

Elixir has support for ranges from before its v1.0 release. Ranges support only integers and are inclusive, using the mathematic notation a..b. Ranges in Elixir are either increasing 1..10 or decreasing 10..1 and the direction of the range was always inferred from the first and last positions. Ranges are always lazy as its values are emitted as they are enumerated rather than being computed upfront.

Unfortunately, due to this inference, it is not possible to have empty ranges. For example, if you want to create a list of n elements, you cannot express it with a range from 1..n, as 1..0 (for n=0) is a decreasing range with two elements.

Elixir v1.12 supports stepped ranges via the first..last//step notation. For example: 1..10//2 will emit the numbers 1, 3, 5, 7, and 9. You can consider the // operator as an equivalent to "range division", as it effectively divides the number of elements in the range by step, rounding up on inexact scenarios. Steps can be either positive (increasing ranges) or negative (decreasing ranges). Stepped ranges bring more expressive power to Elixir ranges and they elegantly solve the empty range problem, as they allow the direction of the steps to be explicitly declared instead of inferred.

As of Elixir v1.12, implicitly decreasing ranges are soft-deprecated and warnings will be emitted in future Elixir versions based on our deprecation policy.

Additional functions

Elixir v1.12 has the additional of many functions across the standard library. The Enum module received additions such as Enum.count_until/2, Enum.product/1, Enum.zip_with/2, and more. The Integer module now includes Integer.pow/2 and Integer.extended_gcd/2. Finally, the Kernel module got two new functions, Kernel.then/2 and Kernel.tap/2, which are specially useful in |> pipelines.

v1.12.3 (2021-09-05)

1. Bug fixes

Elixir

  • [Code] Make sure that bindings in the default context returned by Code.eval_* functions are not returned as tagged tuples
  • [Kernel] Do not crash when handling ambiguity errors
  • [Range] Still match on old range patterns throughout the stdlib

IEx

  • [IEx.Autocomplete] Do not error autocompletion with module attribute

Mix

  • [Mix] Rename inconsistent :exit_code option to :exit_status on Mix.raise/2

v1.12.2 (2021-07-01)

1. Bug fixes

Elixir

  • [Kernel] Ensure deprecated macros emit warnings

Mix

  • [mix deps] Ensure unconstrained rebar deps generate valid mix specifications

2. Enhancements

Elixir

Mix

  • [mix compile] Compile most recently changed files first
  • [mix compile, mix run, mix test] Speed up the time taken to load dependencies. This should make the usage of Mix inside projects quite more responsive

v1.12.1 (2021-05-28)

1. Bug fixes

Elixir

  • [Code] Make sure Code.format_string!/2 formats multiline expression inside interpolation on the first run
  • [Macro] Revert keeping of underscores between digits in camelize

Mix

  • [Mix] Make sure Mix.install/2 expand paths for deps
  • [mix deps.get] Silence false positives on httpc warnings
  • [mix test] Do not run the whole suite when there are no --failed tests as it won't behave as expected inside umbrellas

v1.12.0 (2021-05-19)

1. Enhancements

EEx

  • [EEx.Engine] Add EEx.Engine.handle_text/3 callback that receives text metadata
  • [EEx.Engine] Emit warnings for unused "do" expression in EEx

Elixir

ExUnit

  • [ExUnit] Intercept SIGQUIT (via Ctrl+\) and show a list of all aborted tests as well as intermediate test results
  • [ExUnit] Interpolate module attributes in match assertions diffs
  • [ExUnit] Print how much time is spent on async vs sync tests
  • [ExUnit] Improve error messages for doctests
  • [ExUnit] Compile doctests faster (often by two times)
  • [ExUnit] Add ExUnit.async_run/0 and ExUnit.await_run/1

IEx

  • [IEx] Make IEx' parser configurable to allow special commands
  • [IEx] Show function signature when pressing tab after the opening parens of a function
  • [IEx] If an IEx expression starts with a binary operator, such as |>, automatically pipe in the result of the last expression

Mix

  • [Mix] Add Mix.install/2 for dynamically installing a list of dependencies
  • [Mix] Support :exit_code option in Mix.raise/2
  • [Mix] Discard MIX_ENV and MIX_TARGET values if they are empty strings
  • [Mix] Print the time taken to execute a task with on MIX_DEBUG=1
  • [mix compile.erlang] Compile multiple files in parallel
  • [mix escript.build] Deep merge configuration and ensure argv is set when executing config/runtime.exs
  • [mix release] Add RELEASE_PROG to releases with the name of the executable starting the release
  • [mix release] Support remote.vm.args to customize how the connecting VM boots
  • [mix test] Run all available tests if there are no pending --failed tests. This provides a better workflow as you no longer need to toggle the --failed flag between runs

2. Bug fixes

Elixir

  • [CLI] Ensure -e "" (with an empty string) parses correctly on Windows
  • [Inspect] Do not override user supplied :limit option for derived implementations
  • [Kernel] Allow heredoc inside a heredoc interpolation
  • [Kernel] Preserve CRLF on heredocs
  • [Kernel] Public functions without documentation now appear as an empty map on Code.fetch_docs/1, unless they start with underscore, where they remain as :none. This aligns Elixir's implementation with EEP48
  • [Kernel] Do not crash when complex literals (binaries and maps) are used in guards
  • [Kernel] Properly parse keywords (such as end) followed by the :: operator
  • [Kernel] Do not ignore unimplemented signatures from generated functions
  • [Kernel] Improve error message when an expression follows a keyword list without brackets
  • [Macro] Macro.decompose_call/1 now also consider tuples with more than 2 elements to not be valid calls
  • [Macro] Fix Macro.to_string/1 double-escaping of escape characters in sigils
  • [Macro] Fix Macro.underscore/1 on digits preceded by capitals: "FOO10" now becomes "foo10" instead of "fo_o10"
  • [Macro] Preserve underscores between digits on Macro.underscore/1
  • [OptionParser] Properly parse when numbers follow-up aliases, for example, -ab3 is now parsed as -a -b 3
  • [Path] Fix Path.relative_to/2 when referencing self
  • [Path] Do not crash when a volume is given to Path.absname/1, such as "c:"
  • [Task] Ensure Task.async_stream/2 with ordered: false discard results as they are emitted, instead of needlessly accumulating inside the stream manager
  • [Task] Raise if :max_concurrency is set to 0 on streaming operations
  • [URI] Do not discard empty paths on URI.merge/2

ExUnit

  • [ExUnit.Case] Make @tag tmp_dir an absolute directory, avoiding inconsistencies if the test changes the current working directory
  • [ExUnit.Diff] Fix cases where the diffing algorithm would fail to print a pattern correct

IEx

  • [IEx] Fix auto-completion inside remote shells

Mix

  • [mix app.config] Do not emit false positive warnings when configured dependencies that have runtime: false set
  • [mix compile.elixir] Ensure that a manifest is generated even with no source code
  • [mix compile.elixir] Make sure export dependencies trigger recompilation when the dependency is removed as well as when the whole file is removed
  • [mix compile.elixir] Do not emit false positive warnings when a path dependency adds a module that is then used by the current application in the same mix compile cycle
  • [mix test] Ensure protocols within the current project are consolidated when --cover is given
  • [mix release] Improve compliance of release scripts with stripped down Linux installations
  • [mix release] Preserve file mode when copying non-beam ebin files
  • [mix xref] Ensure args are passed to the underlying mix compile call

3. Soft-deprecations (no warnings emitted)

Elixir

  • [Kernel] Using first..last to match on ranges is soft-deprecated and will warn on future Elixir versions. Use first..last//step instead
  • [Kernel] Using first..last to create decreasing ranges is soft-deprecated and will warn on future versions. Use first..last//-1 instead

4. Hard-deprecations

EEx

  • [EEx.Engine] use EEx.Engine is deprecated in favor of explicit delegation

Elixir

  • [Kernel] The binary operator ^^^ is deprecated. If you are using Bitwise.^^^/2, use Bitwise.bxor/2 instead
  • [Kernel] Deprecate @foo() in favor of @foo
  • [System] Deprecate System.stacktrace/0 (it was already deprecated outside of catch/rescue and now it is deprecated everywhere)

Mix

  • [mix compile] The :xref compiler is deprecated and it has no effect. Please remove it from your mix.exs file.

5. Backwards incompatible changes

A backward incompatible change was found on Elixir v1.12.0 after the release. This was not planned and it is documented below:

ExUnit

  • [ExUnit.Formatter] {:suite_finished, load_time, run_time} message has been updated to {:suite_finished, %{load: load_time, run: run_time, async: async_time}}

v1.11

The CHANGELOG for v1.11 releases can be found in the v1.11 branch.