The result of the incomprehensible `Enum.slice/2` call, is this a bug?

Version Information:

Erlang/OTP 22 [erts-10.6.4]
Elixir (1.10.4)

Specific phenomena:

iex> 0..99 |> Enum.slice(6..6)
[6] # ok
iex> 0..99 |> Enum.slice(6..7)
[6, 7] # ok
iex> 0..99 |> Enum.slice(7..7)
'\a' # ???
iex> 0..99 |> Enum.slice(7..8)
'\a\b' # ???
iex> 0..99 |> Enum.slice(6..8)
[6, 7, 8] # ok

If it reaches the end of 13, all letters are suspected to be returned. After 14 can return to the element list normally:

iex> 0..99 |> Enum.slice(7..13)
iex> 0..99 |> Enum.slice(7..14)
[7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14]

They are equivalent. Elixir simply prints a list of integers as a character list if all of the integers in the list represent printable characters.

Try this in iex:

'\n' == [10]

You should see true as an output, i.e. they are fully equivalent.

(Reminder: the newline character \n is encoded with the integer 10.)

This does not in any way change the fact that the underlying list is correct. Simply a small debug printing convenience which, judging by the amount of the same questions here in ElixirForum, turned out to be more of a tripping stone for many.


Thank you for your prompt answers. They are indeed equivalent.

However, this result is really elusive, making me completely forget that this is a unique phenomenon when printing.
Because I happen to be testing a bug related to Enum.slice/2 call.

If you use IO.inspect you can user :charlists option to show it as a list


Recommendation: make your own IO.inspect wrapper with the proper options passed in. Do these in an iex console (the h helper prints the docs of what comes after it):

h IO.inspect
h Inspect.Opts

EDIT: To illustrate what @emoragaf is saying:

IO.inspect([7, 8], charlists: :as_lists)

Yields [7, 8].

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