Beam label 0 special?

Bjorn Gustavsson <>
Mon Jun 26 15:38:02 CEST 2006

Andrew Lentvorski <> writes:

> Does label 0 have a special meaning in BEAM code similar to the way
> atom 0 does?

In a way, yes. {f,0} means that if an error occur in execution of the
instruction, an exception should be generated (whereas if {f,LabelNumber}
is given, execution will continue at {label,LabelNumber} if an error

(Label 0 is not allowed to be defined.)

> nil is always atom 0 even though it is not listed in the atom table, right?

If you refer to [] (empty list), yes. This is just an encoding trick in Beam
files to make the Beam files smaller. The Beam loader does the translation to
[] at load time.


Björn Gustavsson, Erlang/OTP, Ericsson AB

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