[Python-bugs-list] [ python-Bugs-821701 ] reduce docs neglect a very important piece of information.

SourceForge.net noreply at sourceforge.net
Sun Oct 12 18:10:30 EDT 2003


Bugs item #821701, was opened at 2003-10-11 06:59
Message generated for change (Comment added) made by tjreedy
You can respond by visiting: 
https://sourceforge.net/tracker/?func=detail&atid=105470&aid=821701&group_id=5470

Category: Documentation
Group: Python 2.3
Status: Open
Resolution: None
Priority: 5
Submitted By: Jeremy Fincher (jemfinch)
Assigned to: Raymond Hettinger (rhettinger)
Summary: reduce docs neglect a very important piece of information.

Initial Comment:
I was writing a platform-independent hash function for
pathnames, and the documentation was useless for
determining in which order the arguments to the
reducing function are given.  In the one example given,
the arguments are of the same type, and the reducing
function uses a commutative operator, so it doesn't
matter.  In my case, however, I was doing this:

 >>> reduce(lambda h, s: h ^ hash(s),
s.split(os.path.sep), 0)
-740391245

where the arguments aren't the same type, so order does
matter.  I actually tried this first (since it's the
order of arguments of foldl in Haskell/SML):

>>> reduce(lambda s, h: h ^ hash(s),
s.split(os.path.sep), 0)
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "<stdin>", line 1, in ?
  File "<stdin>", line 1, in <lambda>
TypeError: unsupported operand type(s) for ^: 'str' and
'int'

Especially considering that the order of arguments here
is counter to the traditional order of arguments for
such functions in functional languages, I think there
should be a note in the documentation about the order
of arguments.

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Comment By: Terry J. Reedy (tjreedy)
Date: 2003-10-12 18:10

Message:
Logged In: YES 
user_id=593130

A draft of clarification text:

The rule is that the first (left) arg is the current cumulation 
and the second (right) is the update value from the 
sequence.  The initial cumulation is either the optional 
initializer or the first item of the sequence, at least one of 
which most exist to avoid a TypeError.

I inferred the left/right arg rule from '''
reduce(lambda x, y: x+y, [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]) calculates ((((1+2)
+3)+4)+5). ''' but an explicit statement would be helpful.


----------------------------------------------------------------------

Comment By: Raymond Hettinger (rhettinger)
Date: 2003-10-11 12:44

Message:
Logged In: YES 
user_id=80475

I've bumped into this also and always solved it by experiment.

I'll update the docs to clarity the situation.

----------------------------------------------------------------------

You can respond by visiting: 
https://sourceforge.net/tracker/?func=detail&atid=105470&aid=821701&group_id=5470



More information about the Python-bugs-list mailing list