[erlang-questions] List comprehension puzzler

Richard A. O'Keefe <>
Mon Sep 19 02:51:46 CEST 2016

On 19/09/16 4:56 AM,  wrote:
> 4> S = "123a456".
> "123a456"

The documentation is very clear:

Erlang reference manual section 3.12 Strings

     Strings are enclosed in double quotes ("),
     but is(sic.) not a data type in Erlang.
     Instead, a string "hello" is shorthand for the list
     [$h,$e,$l,$l,$o], that is, [104,101,108,108,111].

When the shell sees a list that might have been a string,
it prints it as a string.  So

   > [65,66,67].

You entered a list of integers using string syntax.
The shell printed that list of integers using string syntax.

> 5> is_integer(S).
> false

Why would you ever have thought that S *might* be an integer?
If you want a hexadecimal integer, section 3.2 is clear.


is an integer in hex.
> 6> [is_integer(I) || I <- S].
> [true,true,true,true,true,true,true]

So you did know that S is a list.
> Please tell me what I don't understand.

That would require us to read your mind.  What did you expect
to happen and why did you expect that?

Here's Prolog:

?- S = "123a456".

S = [49, 50, 51, 97, 52, 53, 54]

?- S = "123a456", member(X, S), \+ integer(X).


Here's Haskell:
Prelude> :type "123a456"
"123a456" :: [Char]

(That is, "123a456" is a list of characters.  Char and Int are
distinct in Haskell, not in Erlang or Prolog.)

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