Filter All Elements Matching a Certain Criteria
From a list, you want only the elements that match certain criteria.
This notion of extracting a subset of a larger list is common. It's how you find all engineers in a list of employees, all users in the "staff" group, or all the filenames you're interested in.
Use the lists module's filter or dropwhile functions. The filter function takes a list and a predicate, and returns a list of all elements where the predicate is true.
% Example of lists:filter 1> List = lists:seq(1,16). [1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16] 2> lists:filter(fun(X) -> X rem 2 == 0 end, List). [2,4,6,8,10,12,14,16]
The dropwhile function scans through a list, dropping elements until it reaches the first element satisfying some criteria; at this point, it returns the remaining elements of the list. The takewhile function does the opposite, taking elements until some criteria is met, and dropping the rest.
% Example of lists:dropwhile (uses same List as before) 3> lists:dropwhile(fun(X) -> X < 5 end, List). [5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16] % Example of lists:takewhile 4> lists:takewhile(fun(X) -> X < 5 end, List). [1,2,3,4]
Erlang has excellent support for list processing.