[docs] [issue33114] random.sample() behavior is unexpected/unclear from docs

Scott Eilerman report at bugs.python.org
Wed Mar 21 11:26:54 EDT 2018


Scott Eilerman <scott.j.eilerman at gmail.com> added the comment:

To clarify the use case where this behavior was problematic for me, I wanted to get the nth random draw from a given distribution, so I used something like:

random.seed(fixed_seed)
random.sample(choices, n)[-1]

Then, later, I want the next draw, so I did:

random.seed(fixed_seed)
random.sample(choices, n)[-1]


The workaround would be to use random.shuffle and pick the nth item, or use random.sample once with the highest k value I expect to need and then pick the nth element from that list. But I settled on the above implementation because for the first few cases I tested, it returned the results I expected, and nothing in the docs suggested I should expect otherwise.

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<https://bugs.python.org/issue33114>
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