[Edu-sig] Teaching about files
kent37 at tds.net
Sun Nov 7 23:36:14 CET 2004
I'm getting ready to teach about files this week.
I'm not too happy with this chapter in Dawson. He spends quite a lot of
time on f.read(n) and f.readline(n) and very little on 'for line in f:'.
In several months of answering questions on the Tutor list, I have seen
many programs whose structure is (or could be) like this:
f = open(...)
for line in f:
data = line.split() # or some variation of this
# do something with data
Sometimes the programs are written with readlines(), sometimes it is
f.read() followed by split('\n'), but it's all the same idea and the
best way to express it is with 'for line in f:'.
On the other hand, I can't remember any use of f.read(n) on the Tutor
list at all. And it's hard to imagine why I would use f.readline(n); why
not just f.readline() and process the line data? (Maybe if lines could
So my question is, am I missing something here? Is f.read(n) important?
I want to de-emphasize f.read(n) and ignore f.readline(n), and emphasize
'for line in f:', with f.read(), f.readline() and f.readlines() also
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