[New-bugs-announce] [issue26478] dict views don't implement subtraction correctly

Josh Rosenberg report at bugs.python.org
Thu Mar 3 18:20:42 EST 2016

New submission from Josh Rosenberg:

Don't know when the problem was introduced, but dictviews_sub is doing:

    tmp = _PyObject_CallMethodId(result, &PyId_difference_update, "O", other);

to implement subtraction (after creating result as a set of the keys in question). That's violating the CallMethod contract though (which states the format string should produce a tuple), and while it looks like CallMethod does fixups when the contract is violated, this creates some very odd behaviors.

With a list, everything is fine:

    >>> d = {0: 'zero', 1: 'one', 2: 'two', 3: 'three'}
    >>> d.keys() - [0, 2]
    {1, 3}
    >>> d.keys() - (0, 2)
    TypeError: 'int' object is not iterable

Basically, the fix up doesn't get applied when you subtract a tuple, so it's as if it's trying to call:

    result.difference_update(*(0, 2))  # Unpacking used to illustrate, effect is  result.difference_update(0, 2)

With the list, it's wrapping to make a one element tuple, so it behaves like:

    result.difference_update(*([0, 2],))  # Unpacking used to illustrate, effect is  result.difference_update([0, 2])

For more details, see http://stackoverflow.com/q/35784258/364696

Fix should be to change call line to:

    tmp = _PyObject_CallMethodObjArgsId(result, &PyId_difference_update, other, NULL);

(assuming _PyObject_CallMethodObjArgsId is a thing), or if it's not a thing, to fix the format string to force tuple wrapping:

    tmp = _PyObject_CallMethodId(result, &PyId_difference_update, "(O)", other);

messages: 261180
nosy: josh.r
priority: normal
severity: normal
status: open
title: dict views don't implement subtraction correctly
versions: Python 3.5, Python 3.6

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