I published my first Elixir package to hex!
Table of contents:
That, of course, is one of the drawbacks to using a language that isn’t as mainstream — there are going to be fewer online resources to take advantage of when you want to find a dependency or find an answer to a question.
The problem I needed to solve
The use case for my project was fairly simple. I needed a way to import a very long list of English words, which I could then filter based on different criteria in my application.
There is a pre-existing npm package called word-list that solves this, and I’ve used it before in another project I worked on. But after doing some searching, I didn’t find anything similar on hex, Elixir’s package manager.
Since word-list had already compiled a list of English words, I decided to make a clone of that project in Elixir.
You can find my package here and the source code here.
My solution contains a single function that imports the text file containing all the words and makes it available as a stream.
defmodule WordList do def getStream!() do Application.app_dir(:word_list, "/priv/words.txt") |> File.stream!() |> Stream.map(fn x -> String.trim(x) end) end end
Additionally, I added a call to
Stream.map/2 to trim the new newline character from each word. However, since this is a Stream, that operation is performed lazily. Doing so helps avoid a long initial load time to getting the list of words, and instead pushes off the trim until a word is actually retrieved.
Publishing my package
I found that publishing to hex was pretty easy. I followed this documentation and didn’t run into any issues.
Once I registered an account with hex and filled out the appropriate fields in
mix.exs, all I had to do to publish was run
Have you published to hex?
If you’ve published any packages to hex before, feel free to share them in the comments. Have you ever run into any difficulties with the process? Have you learned any techniques that streamline the process?
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