Next: , Previous: Dictionary Types, Up: Compound Data Types

5.6.11 Association Lists

An association list is a conventional data structure that is often used to implement simple key-value databases. It consists of a list of entries in which each entry is a pair. The key of each entry is the car of the pair and the value of each entry is the cdr.

                              (KEY2 . VALUE2)
                              (KEY3 . VALUE3)

Association lists are also known, for short, as alists.

The structure of an association list is just one example of the infinite number of possible structures that can be built using pairs and lists. As such, the keys and values in an association list can be manipulated using the general list structure procedures cons, car, cdr, set-car!, set-cdr! and so on. However, because association lists are so useful, Guile also provides specific procedures for manipulating them.