July 25, 2009.
One of the issues I run into every couple of weeks with Erlang is distinguishing lists from strings. This is made complicated because strings are merely a list of integers. That said, running with that definition, there is a very simple solution.
is_string(X) -> lists:foldl(fun(N,Acc) -> case Acc of false -> false; true -> is_integer(N) end end, true, X).
Admittedly, not an efficient solution. You could wrap it in a try-catch block and use a throw to exit the loop upon reaching the first non-integer, but the worst-case efficiency remains O(N). Any suggestions on how to improve?