# [erlang-questions] If Condition vs. Multiple Function Clauses

Anthony Ramine n.oxyde@REDACTED
Sat Jun 15 10:51:12 CEST 2013

--
Anthony Ramine

Le 15 juin 2013 à 10:29, Anthony Ramine a écrit :

> Hello Steve,
>
> No thanks.
>
> If something is to be done, it should be to allow a literal 'otherwise' atom in the last 'if' clause pattern. In Haskell, otherwise is an alias of true just for that reason.
>
> Regards,
>
> --
> Anthony Ramine
>
> Le 15 juin 2013 à 02:40, Steve Davis a écrit :
>
>> I strongly (personally) dislike use of "if" syntax, but only because of the counterintuitive "true" evaluation.
>>
>> What if the language were to return the atom "else" instead of "true"?
>>
>> I doubt that would be considered "better" but it would sure make things more readable...
>>
>> /s
>>
>> On Friday, June 14, 2013 8:06:33 AM UTC-5, Lars Herbach wrote:
>> Hi List,
>> I'm currently working myself through the "Études for Erlang" book [1] and in exercise it wks's to write a recursive function, calculating the greatest common divisor for two numbers N and M. The suggested solution is a single gcd/2 function with an If condition and recursion:
>>
>> gcd(M, N) ->
>>     if M == N -> M;
>>        M > N -> gcd(M - N, N;
>>        true -> gcd(M, N - M)
>>     end.
>>
>> I by myself took another way, working with multiple function clauses (did I name it right?):
>>
>> gcd(M, N) when M == N ->
>>     M;
>> gcd(M, N) when M > N ->
>>     gcd(M - N, N);
>> gcd(M, N) ->
>>     gcd(M,  N - M).
>>
>> Now I've got two questions about that:
>> 1) Is my solution still recursive, since I practically call different functions?
>> 2) Are there any benefits in regards of efficiancy for the first solution?
>>
>> Thanks,
>> Lars.
>>
>>
>> [1]: http://shop.oreilly.com/product/0636920030034.do
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>