Atoms in I/O lists

James Hague <>
Tue Dec 14 20:53:38 CET 2004


An I/O list is list where each element is an integer in the range 0-255, a
binary, or another I/O list.  Several times now I've wished that atoms could
be directly included in I/O lists rather than having to call atom_to_list
first.  With atoms legal in I/O lists, you could imagine atom_to_list call
quietly wrapped around each atom.  In addition to being simpler, this could
result in less garbage being generated, assuming that I/O lists get parsed
in the C runtime.

One reason I can think of for not allowing this is if atom names can be
Unicode.  I don't know if Erlang supports this.  Are there other objections?



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