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7.4 Cutting and Pasting Lists

procedure: sublist list start end

Start and end must be exact integers satisfying

0 <= start <= end <= (length list)

sublist returns a newly allocated list formed from the elements of list beginning at index start (inclusive) and ending at end (exclusive).

procedure: list-head list k

Returns a newly allocated list consisting of the first k elements of list. K must not be greater than the length of list.

We could have defined list-head this way:

(define (list-head list k)
  (sublist list 0 k))
procedure: list-tail list k

Returns the sublist of list obtained by omitting the first k elements. The result, if it is not the empty list, shares structure with list. K must not be greater than the length of list.

procedure: append list …

Returns a list consisting of the elements of the first list followed by the elements of the other lists.

(append '(x) '(y))                      ⇒ (x y)
(append '(a) '(b c d))                  ⇒ (a b c d)
(append '(a (b)) '((c)))                ⇒ (a (b) (c))
(append)                                ⇒ ()

The resulting list is always newly allocated, except that it shares structure with the last list argument. The last argument may actually be any object; an improper list results if the last argument is not a proper list.

(append '(a b) '(c . d))                ⇒ (a b c . d)
(append '() 'a)                         ⇒ a
procedure: append! list …

Returns a list that is the argument lists concatenated together. The arguments are changed rather than copied. (Compare this with append, which copies arguments rather than destroying them.) For example:

(define x '(a b c))
(define y '(d e f))
(define z '(g h))
(append! x y z)                         ⇒ (a b c d e f g h)
x                                       ⇒ (a b c d e f g h)
y                                       ⇒ (d e f g h)
z                                       ⇒ (g h)
procedure: last-pair list

Returns the last pair in list, which may be an improper list. last-pair could have been defined this way:

(define last-pair
  (lambda (x)
    (if (pair? (cdr x))
        (last-pair (cdr x))
procedure: except-last-pair list
procedure: except-last-pair! list

These procedures remove the last pair from list. List may be an improper list, except that it must consist of at least one pair. except-last-pair returns a newly allocated copy of list that omits the last pair. except-last-pair! destructively removes the last pair from list and returns list. If the cdr of list is not a pair, the empty list is returned by either procedure.

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