Proper or well formed Lists

Francesco Cesarini cesarini@REDACTED
Thu Dec 14 09:59:48 CET 2000

A well formed list follows the definition List = [Term|List] or []. Why
where non proper (or well formed) lists (List = [Term|Term] ex:
[hello|world]) allowed in the language in the first place? 

I am having a hard time seeing the need or intent with non well formed
lists, other than a simplifying run-time evaluations and possibly the
parsing. Wouldn't it have been better to have expressions not evaluating
to a well formed list result in a run time error? 

Francesco Cesarini

Erlang/OTP consultant
Cellular: INT+44-7776 250381 
ECN: 832-707192

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