Erlang - BIFS


BIFs are functions that are built into Erlang. They usually do tasks that are impossible to program in Erlang. For example, it’s impossible to turn a list into a tuple or to find the current time and date. To perform such an operation, we call a BIF.

Let’s take an example of how BIF’s are used −



start() ->   

The following things need to be noted about the above example −

  • In the first example, we are using the BIF called tuple_to_list to convert a tuple to a list.

  • In the second BIF function, we are using the time function to output the system time.

The output of the above program will be as follows −



Let’s look at some of the more BIF functions available in Erlang.

S.No BIF Functions & Description
1 date

This method returns the current system date.

2 byte_size

This method returns the number of bytes contained in a Bitstring.

3 element

The method returns the Nth element in the tuple.

4 float

This method returns the float value of a particular number.

5 get

The method returns the process dictionary as a list.

6 put

This method is used to put a key,value pair in the process dictionary.

7 localtime

The method is used to give the local date and time in the system.

8 memory

Returns a list containing information about memory dynamically allocated by the Erlang emulator.

9 now

This method returns the tuple {MegaSecs, Secs, MicroSecs} which is the elapsed time since 00:00 GMT, January 1, 1970.

10 ports

Returns a list of all ports on the local node

11 processes

Returns a list of process identifiers corresponding to all the processes currently existing on the local node.

12 universaltime

Returns the current date and time according to Universal Time Coordinated (UTC).