Why no is_string()?

Raimo Niskanen raimo.niskanen@REDACTED
Wed Aug 27 16:39:28 CEST 2003

It would require a test for each element in the whole list. The only 
guard function I know of that is O(N) is length(), and that is almost a 
mistake since guard tests must be fast.

/ Raimo Niskanen, Erlang/OTP, Ericsson AB

Vance Shipley wrote:
> There is no guard test is_string().  Now I realize that strings
> are not a unique data type in Erlang however they are respresented
> as such in many ways.  In the external term format there is a
> unique tag for strings.  In the documentation we have things with
> type "string()". 
> I'd like to have a is_string() guard which would tell the difference
> between [foo, <<1,2,3>>, [a,b,c]] and "bar".
> Would this require a time consuming test of each element of the list
> or is the internal tagging already there?
> 	-Vance

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