On Wed, Oct 06, 2021 at 11:11:09AM +0100, Alex Waygood wrote:
The temptation to insist "see, YAGNI!" at this point I shall resist.
*You* might not need it, but I've seen it come up a lot on Stack Overflow, and all too often people end up going for the much less efficient solution. I personally have also written code with practical applications using `next(iter(mydict))`.
Under what circumstances do you care what the first key in a dict is, without going on to care about the second, third, fourth etc?
They are surely extremely niche, or artificial, or both, e.g. the Stackoverflow problem you link to: "find the first non-repeating character in a string -- using only one loop". Why the *first* rather than any, or all?
In any case, the presence of one or two uses for a piece of functionality doesn't mandate that we make this a builtin. Your solution with next() is perfectly adequate.
The other suggested methods are even more obscure. Why have a method for returning the first value, without knowing the key?
"I don't know what the first key is, and I don't care, but I know that whatever it is, it maps to the value 17."
Now what are you going to do with that knowledge? This seems like a method in desperate need of a use-case.
I agree that it's a lot of methods to add. That's precisely why I prefer Inada Naoki's suggestion of additions to itertools
Whether they are added to dict or itertools, there are still nine of them, and they are pretty much near clones of each other:
# first_ and last_ whatsits next([iter|reversed](obj.[keys|values|items]()))
if you will excuse the misuse of hybrid Python/BNF syntax :-)