[erlang-questions] a surprising atom

Ulf Wiger <>
Wed Oct 22 20:08:12 CEST 2008


Well, since [] (or "") is a valid string, and list_to_atom/1
will convert a valid string to a valid atom*, it's perfectly
logical that there should be an "empty atom" as well.

* There is a system limit on how many characters can
be used in an atom, so list_to_atom/1 in fact *wont*
work on strings of length > 255. But "" is even a pretty
common string, so it would be more frustrating if
list_to_atom([]) didn't work.

BR,
Ulf W


2008/10/22 Anthony Shipman <>:
> Eshell V5.6.4  (abort with ^G)
> 1> X = ''.
> ''
> 2> is_atom(X).
> true
>
> --
> Anthony Shipman                    Mamas don't let your babies
>                    grow up to be outsourced.
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> 
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