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Lists and Tuples

P: n/a
I've spent most of the day playing around with lists and tuples to get a really good grasp on what
you can do with them. I am still left with a question and that is, when should you choose a list or
a tuple? I understand that a tuple is immutable and a list is mutable but there has to be more to it
than just that. Everything I tried with a list worked the same with a tuple. So, what's the
difference and why choose one over the other?

Jeff
Jul 18 '05 #1
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42 Replies


P: n/a
Jeff Wagner <JW*****@hotmail.com> writes:
I've spent most of the day playing around with lists and tuples to
get a really good grasp on what you can do with them. I am still
left with a question and that is, when should you choose a list or a
tuple? I understand that a tuple is immutable and a list is mutable
but there has to be more to it than just that. Everything I tried
with a list worked the same with a tuple. So, what's the difference
and why choose one over the other?

Try this with a list:

a = [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]
a[3] = 27
print a

Then try it with a tuple.
Jul 18 '05 #2

P: n/a
In article <7x************@ruckus.brouhaha.com>,
Paul Rubin <http://ph****@NOSPAM.invalid> wrote:
Try this with a list:

a = [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]
a[3] = 27
print a

Then try it with a tuple.


That's true, but another answer is: you should use tuples for short
sequences of diverse items (like the arguments to a function). You
should use lists for longer sequences of similar items.

--
David Eppstein http://www.ics.uci.edu/~eppstein/
Univ. of California, Irvine, School of Information & Computer Science
Jul 18 '05 #3

P: n/a
On 04 Dec 2003 21:31:12 -0800, Paul Rubin <http://ph****@NOSPAM.invalid> wrotf:
Jeff Wagner <JW*****@hotmail.com> writes:
I've spent most of the day playing around with lists and tuples to
get a really good grasp on what you can do with them. I am still
left with a question and that is, when should you choose a list or a
tuple? I understand that a tuple is immutable and a list is mutable
but there has to be more to it than just that. Everything I tried
with a list worked the same with a tuple. So, what's the difference
and why choose one over the other?

Try this with a list:

a = [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]
a[3] = 27
print a

Then try it with a tuple.


That's because a tuple is immutable and a list is mutable but what else? I guess I said everything I
tried with a tuple worked with a list ... not mentioning I didn't try to break the immutable/mutable
rule I was aware of. Besides trying to change a tuple, I could cut it, slice and dice it just like I
could a list. They seemed to have the same built-in methods, too.

From what I can see, there is no reason for me to ever want to use a tuple and I think there is
something I am missing. Why would Guido go to all the effort to include tuples if (as it appears)
lists are just as good but more powerful ... you can change the contents of a list.

Jeff
Jul 18 '05 #4

P: n/a
On Fri, Dec 05, 2003 at 05:19:33AM +0000, Jeff Wagner wrote:
I've spent most of the day playing around with lists and tuples to get a really good grasp on what
you can do with them. I am still left with a question and that is, when should you choose a list or
a tuple? I understand that a tuple is immutable and a list is mutable but there has to be more to it
than just that. Everything I tried with a list worked the same with a tuple. So, what's the
difference and why choose one over the other?


What's the difference?
import sets
sets.Set(dir(list)).difference(sets.Set(dir(tuple) ))

Set(['sort', 'index', '__delslice__', 'reverse', 'extend', 'insert',
'__setslice__', 'count', 'remove', '__setitem__', '__iadd__', 'pop',
'__delitem__', 'append', '__imul__'])

;)

-Andrew.
Jul 18 '05 #5

P: n/a
sdd
Jeff Wagner wrote:
I've spent most of the day playing around with lists and tuples to get a really good grasp on what
you can do with them. I am still left with a question and that is, when should you choose a list or
a tuple? I understand that a tuple is immutable and a list is mutable but there has to be more to it
than just that. Everything I tried with a list worked the same with a tuple. So, what's the
difference and why choose one over the other?

Jeff

Here's the biggie:

association = {}
somevals = 1,2,6,'a'
association[somevals] = 13

vs.

association = {}
somevals = [1,2,6,'a']
association[somevals] = 13

-Scott David Daniels
Sc***********@Acm.Org

Jul 18 '05 #6

P: n/a
Jeff Wagner fed this fish to the penguins on Thursday 04 December 2003
21:19 pm:
tuple. So, what's the difference and why choose one over the other?
A tuple can be the key for a dictionary, a list can't.
Not sure of a tuple containing a list, though...

-- ================================================== ============ <
wl*****@ix.netcom.com | Wulfraed Dennis Lee Bieber KD6MOG <
wu******@dm.net | Bestiaria Support Staff <
================================================== ============ <
Bestiaria Home Page: http://www.beastie.dm.net/ <
Home Page: http://www.dm.net/~wulfraed/ <


Jul 18 '05 #7

P: n/a
David Eppstein <ep******@ics.uci.edu> writes:
That's true, but another answer is: you should use tuples for short
sequences of diverse items (like the arguments to a function). You
should use lists for longer sequences of similar items.


I disagree. You should use a tuple when you wish to not change the
contents once you have constructed the sequence, and otherwise you
should use a list. Using a tuple can make your code clearer by
letting the reader know from the beginning that the contents won't be
changing.

Fredrik Lundh actually called me names a couple years back for
asserting this, but Python luminary (and rude fellow) or not, he is
dead wrong.

You don't have to take my word for it, though, since Python itself
uses tuples in this manner, in the form of the container used for
excess arguments (excess arguments certainly don't have to be short,
and they are generally homogeneous, not heterogeneous), and Python
Mega Widgets (for example) is littered with code that looks like:

optiondefs = (
('initwait', 500, None), # milliseconds
('label_background', 'lightyellow', None),
('label_foreground', 'black', None),
('label_justify', 'left', None),
('master', 'parent', None),
('relmouse', 'none', self._relmouse),
('state', 'both', self._state),
('statuscommand', None, None),
('xoffset', 20, None), # pixels
('yoffset', 1, None), # pixels
('hull_highlightthickness', 1, None),
('hull_highlightbackground', 'black', None),
)

In the above case we see tuples being used both as records *and* as an
arbitrary-length sequence of homogenious elements. Why is a tuple
being used in the latter case, rather than a list? Because the
sequence isn't going to be modified.

|>oug
Jul 18 '05 #8

P: n/a
On Thu, 04 Dec 2003 21:45:23 -0800, David Eppstein <ep******@ics.uci.edu> wrote:
In article <7x************@ruckus.brouhaha.com>,
Paul Rubin <http://ph****@NOSPAM.invalid> wrote:
Try this with a list:

a = [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]
a[3] = 27
print a

Then try it with a tuple.


That's true, but another answer is: you should use tuples for short
sequences of diverse items (like the arguments to a function). You
should use lists for longer sequences of similar items.

I'm curious what you're getting at. I.e., what does diversity or
similarity have to do with the choice? Is that an aesthetic thing?
(In which case 'should' should be qualified a bit, IWT ;-)
Or what am I missing?

Regards,
Bengt Richter
Jul 18 '05 #9

P: n/a
X-Draft-From: ("comp.lang.python" 285349)
To: bo**@oz.net (Bengt Richter)
Subject: Re: Lists and Tuples
References: <r6********************************@4ax.com>
<7x************@ruckus.brouhaha.com>
<ep****************************@news.service.uci.e du>
<bq**********@216.39.172.122>
Fcc: |rcvstore +articles
From: Douglas Alan <ne****@mit.edu>
--text follows this line--
bo**@oz.net (Bengt Richter) writes:
On Thu, 04 Dec 2003 21:45:23 -0800, David Eppstein
<ep******@ics.uci.edu> wrote:
That's true, but another answer is: you should use tuples for short
sequences of diverse items (like the arguments to a function). You
should use lists for longer sequences of similar items.

I'm curious what you're getting at. I.e., what does diversity or
similarity have to do with the choice?


Nothing really, except by idiom. When people use "should" here, I
think they are over-generalizing. Most of the time, records (short
and heterogenious) are used in a read-only fashion, and long
homogenous sequences are used in a read-write fashion. But when
people characterize this tendency with a "should", I think they are
making a thinko. There are times when you need to modify a record and
consequently might use a dictionary or list, rather than a tuple,
and there are also times when you will never want to modify a long,
homogenous sequence, in which case many people would find it more
elegant to use a tuple than to use a list.

The reason for the "should" is probably because, I imagine, Guido had
in mind mostly multiple return values from function, and the like,
when he put tuples into the language.

|>oug
Jul 18 '05 #10

P: n/a
Jeff Wagner wrote:
I've spent most of the day playing around with lists and tuples to get a really good grasp on what
you can do with them. I am still left with a question and that is, when should you choose a list or
a tuple? I understand that a tuple is immutable and a list is mutable but there has to be more to it
than just that. Everything I tried with a list worked the same with a tuple. So, what's the
difference and why choose one over the other?


According to the Python FAQ:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
4.15 Why are there separate tuple and list data types?

Lists and tuples, while similar in many respects, are generally used in
fundamentally different ways. Tuples can be thought of as being similar
to Pascal records or C structs; they're small collections of related
data which may be of different types which are operated on as a group.
For example, a Cartesian coordinate is appropriately represented as a
tuple of two or three numbers.

Lists, on the other hand, are more like arrays in other languages. They
tend to hold a varying number of objects all of which have the same type
and which are operated on one-by-one. For example, os.listdir('.')
returns a list of strings representing the files in the current
directory. Functions which operate on this output would generally not
break if you added another file or two to the directory.

Tuples are immutable, meaning that once a tuple has been created, you
can't replace any of its elements with a new value. Lists are mutable,
meaning that you can always change a list's elements. Only immutable
elements can be used as dictionary keys, and hence only tuples and not
lists can be used as keys.

http://www.python.org/doc/faq/genera...ist-data-types
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Of course, this information will prevent neither flame wars, nor you
from using them how you wish (within the boundaries of the language).
However you choose to use them, just be clear and consistent.

Peace,
Joe
Jul 18 '05 #11

P: n/a
Jeff Wagner <JW*****@hotmail.com> wrote in
news:f5********************************@4ax.com:
From what I can see, there is no reason for me to ever want to use a
tuple and I think there is something I am missing. Why would Guido go
to all the effort to include tuples if (as it appears) lists are just
as good but more powerful ... you can change the contents of a list.


The most practical difference (if you don't need to modify the contents) is
that tuples can be used as dictionary keys, but lists cannot. There is a
minor performance difference, in particular tuples will take less memory so
if you have a few million of them kicking around your application you might
notice the difference.

However, as other posters have suggested the best way to look at it is
often to use tuples when you have a fixed number of objects, possibly of
different types, e.g. a database record. When you have a variable number of
objects (usually of the same type, or supporting a similar interface) then
a list if obviously better. If you have a variable number of groups of
objects, then a list of tuples seems to fit best. In any of these cases you
could use a list in place of the tuple, but the distinction can help keep
things clear.

Bottom line:

If you are primarily reading the sequence using constant indices, then use
a tuple. If the code starts looking messy then consider defining a class to
replace the tuples and using fieldnames instead of constant indices.

If you need to use the object as a dictionary key, or if you have reason to
be concerned about memory use (because there are a lot of them) use a
tuple.

Otherwise use a list.

--
Duncan Booth du****@rcp.co.uk
int month(char *p){return(124864/((p[0]+p[1]-p[2]&0x1f)+1)%12)["\5\x8\3"
"\6\7\xb\1\x9\xa\2\0\4"];} // Who said my code was obscure?
Jul 18 '05 #12

P: n/a
Douglas Alan wrote:
I disagree. You should use a tuple when you wish to not change the
contents once you have constructed the sequence, and otherwise you
should use a list. Fredrik Lundh actually called me names a couple years back for
asserting this, but Python luminary (and rude fellow) or not, he is
dead wrong.


I'm never dead wrong.

Guido van Rossum, "State of the Python Union", March 2003:
http://www.python.org/doc/essays/ppt.../pycon2003.ppt

...

+ It's a matter of user education

+ Example: lists vs. tuples

this is often misrepresented as "tuple are readonly lists",
which is *wrong*

use cases are quite different

*but*... tuples also usable as readonly lists

...

I expect an apology.

</F>


Jul 18 '05 #13

P: n/a
Dennis Lee Bieber <wl*****@ix.netcom.com> writes:
Jeff Wagner fed this fish to the penguins on Thursday 04 December 2003
21:19 pm:
tuple. So, what's the difference and why choose one over the other?

A tuple can be the key for a dictionary, a list can't.
Not sure of a tuple containing a list, though...


Nope. A tuple is hashable iff all of its elements are.

Cheers,
mwh

--
Now this is what I don't get. Nobody said absolutely anything
bad about anything. Yet it is always possible to just pull
random flames out of ones ass.
-- http://www.advogato.org/person/vicio....html?start=60
Jul 18 '05 #14

P: n/a
On Fri, 5 Dec 2003 16:59:57 +1100, Andrew Bennetts
<an***************@puzzling.org> wrote:
On Fri, Dec 05, 2003 at 05:19:33AM +0000, Jeff Wagner wrote:
I've spent most of the day playing around with lists and tuples to get a really good grasp on what
you can do with them. I am still left with a question and that is, when should you choose a list or
a tuple? I understand that a tuple is immutable and a list is mutable but there has to be more to it
than just that. Everything I tried with a list worked the same with a tuple. So, what's the
difference and why choose one over the other?


What's the difference?
import sets
sets.Set(dir(list)).difference(sets.Set(dir(tuple) ))

Set(['sort', 'index', '__delslice__', 'reverse', 'extend', 'insert',
'__setslice__', 'count', 'remove', '__setitem__', '__iadd__', 'pop',
'__delitem__', 'append', '__imul__'])

;)

-Andrew.

I like that--ask a simple question, get a simple answer. Why can't
they all be so straightforward. :-)
--dang
Jul 18 '05 #15

P: n/a
In article <r6********************************@4ax.com>,
Jeff Wagner <JW*****@hotmail.com> wrote:
I've spent most of the day playing around with lists and tuples to get a
really good grasp on what
you can do with them. I am still left with a question and that is, when
should you choose a list or
a tuple? I understand that a tuple is immutable and a list is mutable but
there has to be more to it
than just that. Everything I tried with a list worked the same with a tuple.
So, what's the
difference and why choose one over the other?

Jeff


The big difference is that tuples (because they are immutable) can be
used as dictionary keys.

So, if you are going to use it as a key, it's got to be a tuple. If
you're going to want to add/delete/change items in it, it's got to be a
list.

If you will never change it, but have no syntatic constraint forcing it
to be immutable, you can pick whichever turns you on. From a stylistic
point of view, I tend to think of tuples when I need to bundle up a
collection of related items (such as a function returning multiple
items). Lists make me think of number of the same kind of item.
Jul 18 '05 #16

P: n/a
Joe Francia <us****@soraia.com> wrote:
For example, a Cartesian coordinate is appropriately represented as a
tuple of two or three numbers.


I would agree if you're explicitly talking about 2-space or 3-space.
But if you're dealing with higher-order geometries, then a coordinate
becomes an N-vector and now it starts to feel more like a list than a
tuple.

I can't put any rigorous argument behind that, it's just what (to me)
feels right.
Jul 18 '05 #17

P: n/a
I just stumbled upon an interesting tuple/list dichotomy.

The new isinstance() function can take a tuple (but not a list) as its
second argument. Why? Logically, it should take any sequence. The
operation it's doing is essentially:

for aType in sequence:
if isinstance (thing, aType):
return True
return False

I don't see any reason it should reject a list, but it does:
isinstance (1, [str, int])

Traceback (most recent call last):
File "<stdin>", line 1, in ?
TypeError: isinstance() arg 2 must be a class, type, or tuple of classes
and types

This is documented, but it still seems strange. Why go out of your way
to reject a list when a list is really a perfectly reasonable thing to
pass in that context?

Same deal with issubclass().
Jul 18 '05 #18

P: n/a
In article <bq**********@216.39.172.122>, bo**@oz.net (Bengt Richter) wrote:
On Thu, 04 Dec 2003 21:45:23 -0800, David Eppstein <ep******@ics.uci.edu> wrote:
That's true, but another answer is: you should use tuples for short
sequences of diverse items (like the arguments to a function). You
should use lists for longer sequences of similar items.

I'm curious what you're getting at. I.e., what does diversity or
similarity have to do with the choice? Is that an aesthetic thing?
(In which case 'should' should be qualified a bit, IWT ;-)
Or what am I missing?


To me, it's a distinction without a difference. Tuples
*act* like immutable sequences, and I use them that way. I
don't know, though, that I won't get caught some day.

Python 3.3 (#22, Jul 29 2013, 14:34:42) [MSC v.9200 96 bit (Intel)] on win96
Type "help", "copyright", "credits" or "license" for more information.
t = (1,4,7,34,789) Traceback (most recent call last):
File "<stdin>", line 1, in ?
HomogeneityError: tuple elements are not diverse

Regards. Mel.
Jul 18 '05 #19

P: n/a
In article <ro***********************@reader2.panix.com>,
Roy Smith <ro*@panix.com> wrote:
The new isinstance() function can take a tuple (but not a list) as its
second argument. Why? Logically, it should take any sequence.


What should it do if the second argument is a type object that is also
iterable?

E.g. suppose that iter(bool) produced the sequence True, False. ...

--
David Eppstein http://www.ics.uci.edu/~eppstein/
Univ. of California, Irvine, School of Information & Computer Science
Jul 18 '05 #20

P: n/a
On Fri, 5 Dec 2003 16:59:57 +1100, Andrew Bennetts
<an***************@puzzling.org> wrote:
On Fri, Dec 05, 2003 at 05:19:33AM +0000, Jeff Wagner wrote:
I've spent most of the day playing around with lists and tuples to get a really good grasp on what
you can do with them. I am still left with a question and that is, when should you choose a list or
a tuple? I understand that a tuple is immutable and a list is mutable but there has to be more to it
than just that. Everything I tried with a list worked the same with a tuple. So, what's the
difference and why choose one over the other?


What's the difference?

Items in lists and not in tuples:

import sets
sets.Set(dir(list)).difference(sets.Set(dir(tuple) ))Set(['sort', 'index', '__delslice__', 'reverse', 'extend', 'insert',
'__setslice__', 'count', 'remove', '__setitem__', '__iadd__', 'pop',
'__delitem__', 'append', '__imul__'])

;)

-Andrew.

And Items in tuples and not in lists:
sets.Set(dir(tuple)).difference(sets.Set(dir(list) )) Set(['__getnewargs__'])

Items in both tuples and lists:
sets.Set(dir(tuple)).intersection(sets.Set(dir(lis t)))

Set(['__getslice__', '__str__', '__getattribute__', '__rmul__',
'__lt__', '__init__', '__setattr__', '__reduce_ex__', '__new__',
'__contains__', '__class__', '__doc__', '__len__', '__mul__',
'__ne__', '__getitem__', '__reduce__', '__iter__', '__add__',
'__gt__', '__eq__', '__delattr__', '__le__', '__repr__', '__hash__',
'__ge__'])

Maybe someone could tell me how and/or when __getnewargs__ is used?
_Ronald Adam
Jul 18 '05 #21

P: n/a


Jeff Wagner wrote:
On 04 Dec 2003 21:31:12 -0800, Paul Rubin <http://ph****@NOSPAM.invalid> wrotf:

Jeff Wagner <JW*****@hotmail.com> writes:
I've spent most of the day playing around with lists and tuples to
get a really good grasp on what you can do with them. I am still
left with a question and that is, when should you choose a list or a
tuple? I understand that a tuple is immutable and a list is mutable
but there has to be more to it than just that. Everything I tried
with a list worked the same with a tuple. So, what's the difference
and why choose one over the other?
Try this with a list:

a = [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]
a[3] = 27
print a

Then try it with a tuple.

That's because a tuple is immutable and a list is mutable but what else? I guess I said everything I
tried with a tuple worked with a list ... not mentioning I didn't try to break the immutable/mutable
rule I was aware of. Besides trying to change a tuple, I could cut it, slice and dice it just like I
could a list. They seemed to have the same built-in methods, too.

From what I can see, there is no reason for me to ever want to use a tuple and I think there is
something I am missing. Why would Guido go to all the effort to include tuples if (as it appears)
lists are just as good but more powerful ... you can change the contents of a list.


Should you wish to use a sequence as the key for a dictionary, then a
tuple would be the choice.

Colin W.
Jeff


Jul 18 '05 #22

P: n/a
Ron Adam wrote:
Maybe someone could tell me how and/or when __getnewargs__ is used?


PEP 307 ("Extensions to the pickle protocol") might be somewhat
helpful:

http://www.python.org/peps/pep-0307.html

</F>


Jul 18 '05 #23

P: n/a
Douglas Alan wrote:
Fredrik Lundh actually called me names a couple years back for
asserting this, but Python luminary (and rude fellow) or not, he is
dead wrong.

I'm never dead wrong.


You were dead wrong to insult me in a debate over subtle programming
aesthetics, where my opinion is just as well-founded as anyone's.


I actually had to dig up the thread that has caused you such grief
over the years.

as expected, you spent that thread attacking everyone who dis-
agreed with you, misrepresented other people's arguments, referred
to implementation artifacts and design mistakes as "proof", and used
the same muddled thinking as you've shown in this thread. heck,
Tim even introduced the term "douglas-sequences" in contrast to
"python-sequences" in order to make any sense of what you were
arguing about that time. not the kind of behaviour I'd expect from
anyone who wants to be taken seriously.

two years later, you haven't learned a thing; that's pretty tragic.

</F>


Jul 18 '05 #24

P: n/a
On Fri, 5 Dec 2003 11:10:34 -0600, Skip Montanaro <sk**@pobox.com>
wrote:

Generally, choose between tuples and lists based upon your data. In
situations where you have a small, fixed collection of objects of possibly
differing types, use a tuple. In situations where have a collection of
objects of uniform type which might grow or shrink, use a list. For
example, an address might best be represented as a tuple:

itcs = ("2020 Ridge Avenue", "Evanston", "IL", "60201")
caffe_lena = ("47 Phila Street", "Saratoga Springs", "NY", "12866")

Though all elements are actually strings, they are conceptually different
types. It probably makes no sense to define itcs as


Some of my confusion derived from these semantic issues. We are
strongly typed and when the list/tuple distinction starts to be talked
with the words "types"," homogenous" , "heterogenous" in close
proximity - we, on the receiving end, will ....

I think the potential misdriection is obvious from your explanation
above.

"Type" is not normally an ambiguous word. It seems to me that an
explanation would stress, upfront, that in fact
homogenous.hetereogenous in this context is at an abstract level, and
unrelated to type,as such and as your example illustrates.

Or else, why does the word "type" need to occur at all, other than
perhaps to explain, explicitily, it is not of relevance

Rather than in a way that implies that it is.

This is a question really. Though not properly phrased as one. Because
I fear I am still missing something.
Art
Jul 18 '05 #25

P: n/a
Arthur wrote:
"Type" is not normally an ambiguous word.


really? in my experience, "type" and "object" are about as ambiguous
as words can get, especially when you're talking about Python.

</F>


Jul 18 '05 #26

P: n/a
On Sun, 7 Dec 2003 15:09:48 +0100, "Fredrik Lundh"
<fr*****@pythonware.com> wrote:
Arthur wrote:
"Type" is not normally an ambiguous word.


really? in my experience, "type" and "object" are about as ambiguous
as words can get, especially when you're talking about Python.

</F>


I am sure you are right. On faith. Though its not particularly
helpful.

Art
Jul 18 '05 #27

P: n/a
On Sun, 07 Dec 2003 15:07:58 GMT, Arthur <aj******@optonline.com>
wrote:
On Sun, 7 Dec 2003 15:09:48 +0100, "Fredrik Lundh"
<fr*****@pythonware.com> wrote:
Arthur wrote:
"Type" is not normally an ambiguous word.


really? in my experience, "type" and "object" are about as ambiguous
as words can get, especially when you're talking about Python.

</F>


I am sure you are right. On faith. Though its not particularly
helpful.

Art


Or else I can rephrase my question.

Having learned that type and object are highly ambiguous words, why do
we would tend to use them when wanting to clarify list/tuple
distinctions.

Art
Jul 18 '05 #28

P: n/a
"Fredrik Lundh" <fr*****@pythonware.com> writes:
as expected, you spent that thread attacking everyone who dis-
agreed with you, misrepresented other people's arguments, referred
to implementation artifacts and design mistakes as "proof", and used
the same muddled thinking as you've shown in this thread. heck,
Tim even introduced the term "douglas-sequences" in contrast to
"python-sequences" in order to make any sense of what you were
arguing about that time. not the kind of behaviour I'd expect from
anyone who wants to be taken seriously.
Your characterization of the past debate is not only a self-serving
caricature, but it is disingenuous as well. I never attacked or
misrepresented anyone -- I merely disagreed with them. Only you
attacked anyone, Fredrik. As you chose to do again. And
misrepresent.
two years later, you haven't learned a thing; that's pretty tragic.


And you still resort to insults, rather than reason. Yes, tragic,
especially for someone who is apparently an icon of the Python
community.

And speaking of "proof" for one's point -- you never provided a single
iota of evidence, much less proof, for the idea that tuples should
only be used as records, except for that you and Guido say so.

|>oug
Jul 18 '05 #29

P: n/a
In article <ma**************************************@python.o rg>,
Fredrik Lundh <fr*****@pythonware.com> wrote:
Arthur wrote:

"Type" is not normally an ambiguous word.


really? in my experience, "type" and "object" are about as ambiguous
as words can get, especially when you're talking about Python.


Hrm. I see your point, but I also think it's fairly easy to get people
to agree on definitions for "type" and "object" within the context of a
discussion. From my POV, the ambiguity comes from layering on additional
meanings beyond that supported by the C API.
--
Aahz (aa**@pythoncraft.com) <*> http://www.pythoncraft.com/

Weinberg's Second Law: If builders built buildings the way programmers wrote
programs, then the first woodpecker that came along would destroy civilization.
Jul 18 '05 #30

P: n/a
Aahz wrote:
From my POV, the ambiguity comes from layering on additional
meanings beyond that supported by the C API.


what C API? (duck)


Jul 18 '05 #31

P: n/a
Fredrik Lundh wrote:
as expected, you spent that thread attacking everyone who dis-
agreed with you, misrepresented other people's arguments, referred
to implementation artifacts and design mistakes as "proof", and used
the same muddled thinking as you've shown in this thread. <snip>


So you're saying he's a news commentator for Fox News? ;>)
Jul 18 '05 #32

P: n/a
Quoth Arthur <aj******@optonline.com>:
| On Fri, 5 Dec 2003 11:10:34 -0600, Skip Montanaro <sk**@pobox.com>
| wrote:
|> Generally, choose between tuples and lists based upon your data. In
|> situations where you have a small, fixed collection of objects of possibly
|> differing types, use a tuple. In situations where have a collection of
|> objects of uniform type which might grow or shrink, use a list. For
|> example, an address might best be represented as a tuple:
|>
|> itcs = ("2020 Ridge Avenue", "Evanston", "IL", "60201")
|> caffe_lena = ("47 Phila Street", "Saratoga Springs", "NY", "12866")
|>
|> Though all elements are actually strings, they are conceptually different
|> types. It probably makes no sense to define itcs as

| "Type" is not normally an ambiguous word. It seems to me that an
| explanation would stress, upfront, that in fact
| homogenous.hetereogenous in this context is at an abstract level, and
| unrelated to type,as such and as your example illustrates.
|
| Or else, why does the word "type" need to occur at all, other than
| perhaps to explain, explicitily, it is not of relevance

Apologies in advance if someone has already said this. It may
be a little too algebraic for the Python world, but for me the
difference can be expressed like this -

n > 0 or m < sizeof(a) and
conceptual_type(a) == conceptual_type(a[n:m])

If that holds, then the conceptual type is naturally implemented
with a list.

I'm not sure it's right to say that the elements of a tuple are
necessarily of conceptually different types, distinguished only
by their positiion. But the point is that they _are_ distinguished
by position (so a slice is not substitable with its source.)

Of course this still relies on a notion of conceptual type that
can't be expressed literally in Python, but it's a healthy one.

Donn Cave, do**@drizzle.com
Jul 18 '05 #33

P: n/a
Douglas Alan wrote:
mw*****@the-wire.com (Mel Wilson) writes:
To me, it's a distinction without a difference. Tuples
*act* like immutable sequences, and I use them that way. I
don't know, though, that I won't get caught some day.


You'll be fine. The only thing you have to watch out for is that some
rude folks here might call you names.


That would add some spice to Python's error messages...

Python 3.7 (#1, Sep 31 2007, 14:19:37)
[GCC 5.6.7] on slartibartfast
Type "help", "copyright", "credits" or "license" for more information.
t = (1, 3, 77, 654, 8)

Traceback (most recent call last):
File "<stdin>", line 1, in ?
HumiliationError: The programmer is a pink-faced baboon (tuple used where
list would be more appropriate)

--
Greg Ewing, Computer Science Dept,
University of Canterbury,
Christchurch, New Zealand
http://www.cosc.canterbury.ac.nz/~greg

Jul 18 '05 #34

P: n/a
Ron Adam wrote:
Items in lists and not in tuples: .... And Items in tuples and not in lists:


And chicks on blocks but not on clocks...

--
Greg Ewing, Computer Science Dept,
University of Canterbury,
Christchurch, New Zealand
http://www.cosc.canterbury.ac.nz/~greg

Jul 18 '05 #35

P: n/a
In article <br*************@ID-169208.news.uni-berlin.de>,
"Greg Ewing (using news.cis.dfn.de)" <g2********@sneakemail.com>
wrote:
Douglas Alan wrote:
mw*****@the-wire.com (Mel Wilson) writes:
To me, it's a distinction without a difference. Tuples
*act* like immutable sequences, and I use them that way. I
don't know, though, that I won't get caught some day.


You'll be fine. The only thing you have to watch out for is that some
rude folks here might call you names.


That would add some spice to Python's error messages...

Python 3.7 (#1, Sep 31 2007, 14:19:37)
[GCC 5.6.7] on slartibartfast
Type "help", "copyright", "credits" or "license" for more information.
>>> t = (1, 3, 77, 654, 8)

Traceback (most recent call last):
File "<stdin>", line 1, in ?
HumiliationError: The programmer is a pink-faced baboon (tuple used where
list would be more appropriate)


In MVP (Microsoft Visual Python), the "auto-correct" function would just
silently change the ()'s to []'s as you typed them. If you tried to
change them back, clippy would pop up on the screen and say, "You seem
to be trying to do something un-pythonic. Would you like some
assistance?". If you tried to make clippy go away, it would offer to
"install this critical security patch immediately".
Jul 18 '05 #36

P: n/a
"Greg Ewing (using news.cis.dfn.de)" <g2********@sneakemail.com> writes:
Douglas Alan wrote:
You'll be fine. The only thing you have to watch out for is that
some rude folks here might call you names. That would add some spice to Python's error messages... Python 3.7 (#1, Sep 31 2007, 14:19:37)
[GCC 5.6.7] on slartibartfast
Type "help", "copyright", "credits" or "license" for more information. >>> t = (1, 3, 77, 654, 8)

Traceback (most recent call last):
File "<stdin>", line 1, in ?
HumiliationError: The programmer is a pink-faced baboon (tuple used where
list would be more appropriate)


Hmmm, could I catch the exception and then continue on anyway? Kind
of like casting away const in C++?

|>oug
Jul 18 '05 #37

P: n/a
On Mon, 08 Dec 2003 16:36:05 +1300
"Greg Ewing (using news.cis.dfn.de)" <g2********@sneakemail.com> wrote:

That would add some spice to Python's error messages...

Python 3.7 (#1, Sep 31 2007, 14:19:37)
[GCC 5.6.7] on slartibartfast
Type "help", "copyright", "credits" or "license" for more information.
>>> t = (1, 3, 77, 654, 8)

Traceback (most recent call last):
File "<stdin>", line 1, in ?
HumiliationError: The programmer is a pink-faced baboon (tuple used where
list would be more appropriate)

Hmmm..Sep 31? Should I file a bug report? ;o)
John
Jul 18 '05 #38

P: n/a
On Sun, 07 Dec 2003 22:42:17 -0500, Roy Smith <ro*@panix.com> wrote:
In MVP (Microsoft Visual Python), the "auto-correct" function would just
silently change the ()'s to []'s as you typed them. If you tried to
change them back, clippy would pop up on the screen and say, "You seem
to be trying to do something un-pythonic. Would you like some
assistance?". If you tried to make clippy go away, it would offer to
"install this critical security patch immediately".


Give some credit.

The unitype system will have been inplemented by then.

One's decoded DNA sequence will be accessed (some people thought web
services would be a bust, back in aught 3), with reference to which,
one's intentions are determined.

Programming now called "hinting". CH4E.

Art

Jul 18 '05 #39

P: n/a
On 7 Dec 2003 11:02:38 -0500, aa**@pythoncraft.com (Aahz) wrote:
In article <ma**************************************@python.o rg>,
Fredrik Lundh <fr*****@pythonware.com> wrote:
Arthur wrote:

"Type" is not normally an ambiguous word.
really? in my experience, "type" and "object" are about as ambiguous
as words can get, especially when you're talking about Python.


I actually see the point also, with direct relevance to Lists and
Tuple tutorial semantics, to the extent that I am confused whether
instances of different classes are of the same "type".

I have considered no. By inheriting from object and creating something
new from it I am creating a custom type. I thought. I think this
impression comes from my little experinece with other languages. And
since the way I use lists are to group instances of different classes,
which may have nothing in common other than a single method of the
same name, I have considered my lists to be of heterogenous type.
Which is why I have been confused by the language to describe the
prototypical use of lists.

Art

Hrm. I see your point, but I also think it's fairly easy to get people
to agree on definitions for "type" and "object" within the context of a
discussion. From my POV, the ambiguity comes from layering on additional
meanings beyond that supported by the C API.


Jul 18 '05 #40

P: n/a
>>>>> "Greg" == Greg Ewing <(using news.cis.dfn.de)" <g2********@sneakemail.com>> writes:

Greg> Ron Adam wrote:
Items in lists and not in tuples: Greg> ... And Items in tuples and not in lists:


Greg> And chicks on blocks but not on clocks...

Through three cheese trees, three free fleas flew...

Skip

Jul 18 '05 #41

P: n/a
John La Rooy wrote:
Hmmm..Sep 31? Should I file a bug report? ;o)


You're failing to take into account the (highly controversial)
International Calendar Reform of 2006, which gave all months
the same number of days. Python was, of course, the first
language to have its datetime module updated to conform with
the new standard.

(Microsoft Java++#.NET was updated too, but in a subtly
incompatible way -- all their months were given 30
days instead.)
--
Greg Ewing, Computer Science Dept,
University of Canterbury,
Christchurch, New Zealand
http://www.cosc.canterbury.ac.nz/~greg

Jul 18 '05 #42

P: n/a
Greg Ewing wrote:
Hmmm..Sep 31? Should I file a bug report? ;o)


You're failing to take into account the (highly controversial)
International Calendar Reform of 2006, which gave all months
the same number of days. Python was, of course, the first
language to have its datetime module updated to conform with
the new standard.

(Microsoft Java++#.NET was updated too, but in a subtly
incompatible way -- all their months were given 30
days instead.)


it's well known (at least to insiders) that the bug in MSJPCS.NET was the
reason for the reform.

a "32 days is better for computers" alternative was brought forward by the
usual suspects (IBM, Sun, etc, plus a bunch of bloggers hellbent on teaching
Dave Winer a lesson), but was, as usual, largely ignored by everyone else.

31 might be due to a EU translation error, but I'm not sure. I also hear that
the french edition of the standard uses 13 days.

</F>


Jul 18 '05 #43

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