[erlang-questions] Introspecting the atom table

Robert Virding <>
Thu Dec 21 02:37:33 CET 2006

It checks if the atom exists, you can only have 1 copy of an atom! 
That's why testing them equality is so fast.


Yariv Sadan wrote:
> Do repeated calls to list_to_atom(Str) with the same Str value
> actually create new atoms, or does list_to_atom() check if the atom
> already exists? (I thought it was the latter)
> Yariv
>> My understanding is that "an atom is forever".  In long running
>> code I don't want to keep creating new atoms if I already have
>> one.  The above I use where I have sporadic communication between
>> remote servers that could come online or offline.
>> This was one example where I might not want to keep creating new
>> atoms so use the try/catch idiom.
>>erlang-questions mailing list
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