[erlang-questions] [Erlyaws-list] String Support, The most needed feature

Bob Ippolito <>
Sat Mar 3 21:46:10 CET 2007


On 3/3/07, CyBerHigh <> wrote:
>
>
> On 3/3/07, Martin Logan <> wrote:
> > What exactly did you find so difficult that it was easier to reinvent
> > one of the major benefits of Erlang with Python rather than to suffer
> > through that element of string handling?
> >
> > On 3/3/07, CyBerHigh < > wrote:
> > > This is my own personal view of erlang.
> > >
> > > Erlang is going to be left far behind because it is liking only one
> feature,
> > > true String support.  All modern languages have an abstraction layer
> over
> > > strings except for erlang.  If you want to have a popular language you
> need
> > > it.  I love every feature of erlang and its coding style but I hate the
> fact
> > > that I cannot handle strings very easly and that strings take up huge
> > > amounts of memory.  In fact I was attempting to user erlang for my
> project
> > > but found that handling strings was so much work that it was easier to
> use
> > > other languages like python with stackless then create my own rcp
> interface.
> > >  Which is now pretty similar to erlang without all the nice coding
> styles of
> > > erlang.
> > >
> > > Is there any movement to create a better string interface?  Cause I
> would
> > > love to come back to erlang and use it and get the name out there more
> than
> > > it is currently but untill there is such a thing I just can't find
> myself
> > > using it.
> > >
> > > Thank you
> > > CyberHigh
> > >
> > >
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> >
>
> Python is very good with string.  In fact I enjoy its string syntax more
> than perl and other string processing languages.  I am not actually
> reinventing anything, stackless offers message passing and microthreads just
> like erlang.  I am moving to a more erlang style of code but doing so is not
> requiring much work.  I just feel there is no reason why I need to actually
> think of a string as a list of characters, unless I am in c.  It is nice
> that I don't need to have end of string characters but I feel that elangs
> biggest short coming is the fact that strings are not the easiest thing to
> handle.  Erlang should be able to act like a string processing language,
> offering easy to use things like regular expressions quick split operations
> and other nice string tools.  Just seems like that would be a big priority
> to be able to compete with all of these new languages popping up and are
> started to implement erlang's good things.  Python is even started to get a
> on-the-fly programming model which erlang has.  Plus there are tools to be
> able to do it in just about any popular language now a days.  So the list of
> things that erlang has that others don't is becoming short.  Erlang still
> seems to have it implemented better than other languages, but it missing
> string handling capability's that other languages do so well that they
> almost make up for the erlangs slight betterment of implantation.
>
> Is there something I am missing about erlangs string capability's, or is
> there a movement to add better methods to erlang?

Your complaints about Erlang's string handling are really vague.
Regular expressions and split operations are available in the stdlib.
What are you really missing?

As far as memory goes... if you actually have a problem with the
overhead of lists-as-strings there's always binaries and iolist. The
syntax is a bit uglier and there's not really much stdlib support for
that, but I've seen libraries floating around that have a string ops
that work on binaries.

-bob



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