Atom is a special string-like data-type that is most commonly used for interfacing with code written in other BEAM languages such as Erlang and Elixir. It is preferable to define your own custom types to use instead of atoms where possible.
Atoms are not used much in typical Gleam code!
We can create atoms with the the
function, though we must be careful when doing so as atoms are never
garbage collected. If we create too many atoms (for example, if we convert
user input into atoms) we may hit the max limit of atoms and cause the
virtual machine to crash.
pub external type Atom
pub external fn create_from_string(String) -> Atom
Creates an atom from a string, inserting a new value into the virtual machine’s atom table if an atom does not already exist for the given string.
We must be careful when using this function as there is a limit to the number of atom that can fit in the virtual machine’s atom table. Never convert user input into atoms as filling the atom table will cause the virtual machine to crash!
pub external fn from_string( String, ) -> Result(Atom, FromStringError)
Finds an existing Atom for the given String.
If no atom is found in the virtual machine’s atom table for the String then an error is returned.
> from_string("ok") Ok(create_from_string("ok")) > from_string("some_new_atom") Error(AtomNotLoaded)