Complexity Shock Horror II: the Sequel (was Re: MD5 in erlang

Tony Rogvall <>
Mon Mar 31 13:44:09 CEST 2003

Raimo Niskanen wrote:
> I am about to add your requested functionality to io_lib:format, so I 
> thought about adding these BIFs too, but it turned out that it was hard 
> to decide what they should do, exactly: Erlang-style prefix or not, 
> lowercase or UPPERCASE or selectable and how to select, how to select 
> any-base for list_to_integer/2, etc.
> It started to seem that an option list was needed with quite some 
> options, and then they suddenly did seem too complicated to be BIFs.
Here is one suggestion for R9C

integer_to_list(Integer, Base)

where integer(Integer) and Base = bin | oct | hex or dec

- The prefix is not needed sice it is a constant op to cons "16#" or 
whatever as a prefix.

- The case is not very important for hex numbers since most "readers" 
can read both upper an lower case, correct me I you ever seen any 
software (not your own:-) that care about case in hex numbers! . I vote 
for uppercase, since that what is what I have seen most. If it should be 
a problem then we can add 'heX' as uppercase option.

I wonder how many times I have written integer_to_hex? I am sure it must 
be 100 times...

When we are at it, why not do the same thing for list_to_integer?
I suggest:
	 list_to_integer(List, Base)  (base = bin | oct | hex | dec )

possibly allowing base spec in the list_to_integer/1 i.e 

Raimo you can give me a call, I will be glad to help you :-)

> So I hope it will do to use something like 
> lists:flatten(io_lib:format("~16b", [Integer])).
> If it is necessary for performance reasons, we might add these BIFs later.

Why wait ? I do not think we can talk us out of this one :-)

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