[erlang-questions] A modest proposal to eliminate tuples

Garrett Smith <>
Wed Aug 27 22:33:43 CEST 2014


I think there's an opportunity to some good here.

Let's pick a worthy charity... anyone asked to donate who doesn't has
to replace all uses of tuples with lists in his or her code.

The No Tuple Challenge. I'm seeing a lot crazy videos here!

On Wed, Aug 27, 2014 at 3:16 PM, Tristan Sloughter
<> wrote:
> This is definitely a troll.
>
>
> On Wed, Aug 27, 2014 at 1:34 PM, Anthony Ramine <> wrote:
>>
>> Are we 1st April already? I didn’t implement yet my patch to make tuples
>> 0-indexed. :(
>>
>> But well, that is overseded by your proposal.
>>
>> --
>> Anthony Ramine
>>
>> Le 27 août 2014 à 20:21, Chris Pacejo <> a écrit :
>>
>> > Tuples are clearly unnecessary and a wart in Erlang's design.
>> > Consider all the operations tuples provide:
>> >
>> > Construction: X = {A,B,C}
>> > Destruction: {A,B,C} = X
>> > Pattern matching: case X of {foo,B,C} -> ... end
>> >
>> > Note now that these operations are provided equally by lists:
>> >
>> > Construction: X = [A,B,C]
>> > Destruction: [A,B,C] = X
>> > Pattern matching: case X of [foo,B,C] -> ... end
>> >
>> > And note that lists provide the additional functionality of indexing
>> > and consing, which tuples do not provide.
>> >
>> > Clearly, using tuples instead of lists provides no benefit, and to
>> > simplify the language they should be deprecated in OTP 18, and removed
>> > by OTP 19.  To support this transition, a compiler option can be
>> > provided to maintain the ill-conceived tuple notation for legacy code;
>> > may I suggest +distinguish_homogenous_and_heterogenous_collections.
>> >
>> > Now, surely detractors will claim that the distinction between tuples
>> > and lists signals programmer intent, permits bytecode optimization,
>> > and enables rich typechecking in Dialyzer.  I claim these purported
>> > benefits are bollocks.  I, and no doubt others, routinely find the
>> > need to iterate over tuple elements, and to store unrelated data
>> > together in a single list.  Anyone who claims that such things are not
>> > necessary clearly has not ever written a complex program.  (I suspect
>> > anyone who thinks structurally-typed records and key-value maps serve
>> > different purposes falls into this group.)
>> >
>> > I hope you all agree, and that we can look forward to a future Erlang
>> > supporting lists and maps as its sole data constructors.
>> >
>> > - Chris P
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>> > 
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>>
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