Hello and thank you for the awesome book.
I’ve been greatly enjoying learning Elixir with this book and I’m finally nearing the end of it. I’m working through the chapter on protocols, and the Bitmap example has been just a little frustrating.
As a Ruby programmer, and somewhat newbie (few years programing now) I’ve done very little work with binary format or bitwise transformations of data. So unfortunately, this example has left me rather confused. I think after re-reading it a few times I get the gist of how protocols work as interfaces, but I can’t claim to have the lucid understanding the other examples in the book left me with.
I wouldn’t ask you to change this. Please don’t. It appears that one of Erlang’s and Elixir’s great strength is working at this low level, and I’d love to work through this example as it is, but with the prerequisite knowledge to do so easily. : A few suggestions for how this could be improved:
You have a section on parsing binary stuff. Giving that more detail, starting with the basics, so that by the Protocols chapter the reader has already learned this in detail.
Giving more detailed explanations of what the code is doing, so the reader learns both things at once.
Linking to some really great outside resources on the subject, so those readers who need a primer or refresher on the subject matter can get it.
I would welcome links to the latter from anyone who happens to read this. and once again want to say how amazing the book is. I’ve publically recommended it to friends and strangers alike, both at work and online. Elixir is awesome and you were the perfect person to tell its story.