Isabell Huang

Erlang/OTP Developer

Isabell is the newest team member of Erlang/OTP. She encountered Erlang in a functional programming course in Uppsala University. In Spring 2024, she did her master thesis in the OTP team about nominal types.

Nominal Types for Erlang

Nominal typing has been used in many dynamically typed languages. User-defined types are distinguished by their names. As my master thesis at Uppsala University, I propose the addition of nominal types ‘-nominal’ in Erlang, where the changes can be applied exclusively to Dialyzer (modulo parsing). As a side effect, nominal types can encode opaque types, which improves Dialyzer’s maintainability. Nominal types will be an upcoming feature for OTP 28.

Key Takeaways:

  • Understanding how nominal types can be defined and used in Erlang.
  • Understanding how Dialyzer performs type-checking for nominal types, and the advantages of encoding opaques internally as nominal types.

Target Audience:

  • Erlang developers and enthusiasts for type systems