# Old style vs. new style boolean expressions

Robert Virding robert.virding@REDACTED
Thu Oct 10 02:02:32 CEST 2002

James Hague wrote:
>>I don't think this make much of a difference most of the 
>>time, and even if it
>>increases the size noticeably - does it matter ?
> It only matters to people who obsessively peek behind the scenes :)
> Possibly, though, it could be a flaw in or weakness in the compiler.  I
> would think that _most_ complex boolean guards could be mechanically
> transformed into "classic" Erlang pattern matching, so the resulting code
> should be very similar.  The Erlang compiler is pretty amazing most of the
> time.

Yes, they can. What really happens is that most classical guards are 
actually tranformed into boolean guard expressions. However, what you 
were describing were boolean *expressions*! You transformed a function 
with guards into functions with boolean expressions. It is only in a 
restricted case where boolean epressions can be transformed into guards. 
Expressions are much more general and handle faults in a completely 
different way.

Actually an expression -> guard transofrmation is (rather naively) done 
in list comprehensions.

One reason that the andthen/orelse expressions resulted in so much code 
is that they are transformed into nested cases. Try using the 'E' option 
to the compiler and look at the .E file.


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