# [erlang-questions] bit syntax: what does "<<1234>> =" match?

Anthony Ramine nox@REDACTED
Sat Feb 26 18:04:39 CET 2011

```Le 26 févr. 2011 à 17:37, Anton Lebedevich a écrit :

> On 02/26/2011 05:24 PM, Anthony Ramine wrote:
>> Le 25 févr. 2011 à 20:23, Anton Lebedevich a écrit :
>>
>>> Hello,
>>>
>>> In erlang R14B01 shell:
>>> 1> <<1234>> = <<1234>>. ** exception error: no match of right hand
> side value <<"Ò">>
>>>
>>> Right side of expression evaluates to <<210>> (8 least significant
>>> bits from 1234), so the following matches:
>>> 2> <<210>> = <<1234>>.
>>> <<"Ò">>
>>>
>>> 1234 on the left side of expression should evaluate to <<210>> too,
>>> but it doesn't:
>>> 3> <<1234>> = <<210>>. ** exception error: no match of right hand
> side value <<"Ò">>
>>>
>>> Is there an explanation of what happens when integer on left side
>>> of binary matching expression doesn't fit into default 8 bit?
>>>
>>> Regards, Anton Lebedevich.
>>
>> Wild guess here, but I would say <<1234>> on the right side
>> constructs a binary using the use-only-the-8-least-significant-bits,
>> thus not failing because the integer is too large; while <<1234>> on
>> the left side is a pattern, so the integer isn't truncated and
>> obviously fails to match since you can't have a byte larger than
>> 255.
>
> Yes, <<1234>> on the right side becomes <<210>>, but I can't figure out
> what happens with <<1234> on the left side. Obviously it isn't truncated
> to <<210>> (least significant 8 bits), it doesn't fit into 16 bit too:
> 1> <<1234>> = <<1234:16>>.
> ** exception error: no match of right hand side value <<4,210>>
>
> Regards,
> Anton Lebedevich.

As I said, the thing on the left is a pattern, so I think it actually compiles to
"a binary which the only byte's value is 1234", which obviously won't ever match
anything.

That could be the intended behaviour as much as it could be a bug, IMHO.

--
Anthony Ramine
Dev:Extend
http://dev-extend.eu

```