[Python-Dev] Fwd: summing a bunch of numbers (or "whatevers")
Sun, 20 Apr 2003 13:21:13 +0530
>>>>> "AM" == Alex Martelli <email@example.com> writes:
>> argue that sum is necessary, what about product (which again
>> Numeric provides along with a host of other useful functions)?
AM> In the context of Numeric use, it's quite appropriate to have
AM> sum, prod, and the other ufuncs' reduce AND accumulate
AM> methods. In everyday programming in other fields, the demand
AM> for the functionality given by sum is FAR higher than that
AM> given by prod. For example, googling on c.l.py shows 165
AM> posts mentioning "reduce(operator.add" versus 39 mentioning
AM> "reduce(operator.mul". This reflects the need of typical
AM> computations -- indeed, even the English language shows
AM> indications about the prevalence of summing as a bulk
I agree that sum will be used far more than product. I can't remember
when I needed to use product myself! Anyway here are the arguments
I've seen so far.
1. One obvious, fairly efficient, and easy way to sum sequences.
2. Google and experience suggest sum is used more often than
product and other functions.
3. Easy on newbies?
4. Will hopefully prevent the N+1'th thread on how to sum lists on
1. __builtins__ is already fat. Will one more function make that
2. Will future requests be made for product and friends?
3. Why not simply speed up reduce/operator.add and train more people
to use that?