Erlang standard library quirks
Mon Jan 30 11:05:34 CET 2006
James Hague writes:
> What standard library quirks bug you?
Two that spring to mind:
- 'string' and 'list' use conflicting argument order conventions.
In the string module, all functions which operate on a string
take the string as the _first_ argument.
In the list module, the list is _last_ more often than not.
Example: string:chr versus lists:member
Not much which can be done about this, I think we're stuck with it.
- The general vagueness about the speed/size properties of dict,
sets, gb_trees and other data structures. gb_trees (1), which
is one of the 'less vague' ones says
Behaviour is logaritmic [sic] (as it should be).
An alternative which is almost as terse, but more informative:
Insertion, deletion and lookup are O(log N), amortised.
dict is worse, with just a snooty
The representation of a dictionary is not defined.
it may as well say "don't you worry about that". Turns out
it's a hash (2).
(1): The original (?) paper about gb_trees is pleasantly lucid, a
pleasure to read: http://user.it.uu.se/~arnea/abs/gb.html
(2): Read the source, or
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