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Comma-delimited lists

A comma-delimited list (or "list" for short) is a list of items, delimited with commas like this: Harry,Ron,Hermione

Lists are useful in storing sets or groups. They can serve some of the same purposes that arrays serve in other languages. In databases, lists can conveniently provide a degree of vectorization without requiring a separate table and joins. Lists can be a powerful approach-- the infamous programming language LISP made great use of lists.

There are a number of functions for working with lists.

Lists can be used...

    as sets of items.. members can be added or removed from lists.
    to control iteration (#for loops)

Since the total length of a comma-delimited list is limited to about 250 characters, lists are most suitable where individual values are known to be small in size (such as controlled-vocabulary tags or integer id numbers) and where it is known that there will not be a huge number of choices. List members can not contain embedded commas, and there is no provision for escaping a comma. List members can contain embedded spaces in some situations.


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