Jake Worth

Jake Worth

Porting TIL from Rails to Phoenix: Initial Commits

Published: November 29, 2016 2 min read

  • elixir
  • ruby

Last week, I started a new project: porting Today I Learned from Ruby on Rails to Phoenix (Elixir). The first few commits were pair programmed with Josh Branchaud, and I hope to work with him and other Rocketeers going forward.

The repo for the new codebase is here.

There’s a lot of work to do to reproduce even the MVP functionality of TIL. We’re using the ‘Projects’ feature of Github to track progress right in the repo.


The purpose of this project is to learn Phoenix, explore the Elixir community, and further develop myself and my colleagues as functional programmers.

A secondary benefit would be building an application that’s more performant than the Ruby version, or leverages unique Elixir features. Also, releasing an open source project that excites people outside Hashrocket and serves as an example of the type of functional programming work we are capable of.


At this point, we’ve built a working Phoenix application with the same basic assets as the Rails application, a working post index page, and a working post show page.

We are developing this application 100% TDD— unit testing with ExUnit and integration testing with Hound.


I’m really enjoying this project thus far.

TDD has been challenging at times. Although Hound is great, it has a long way to go to match Capybara’s (a Ruby equivalent) power and expressiveness. I’m not certain that the TDD element is necessary or the ‘Elixir Way’, if such a thing exists. As a precompiled language, perhaps there’s less of an argument for testing everything up front? Still seems important, and it’s my preferred method of writing software, regardless of ecosystem.

More updates and (theoretically) a launch announcement to come.

What are your thoughts on this? Let me know!

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