[Python-Dev] Fwd: summing a bunch of numbers (or "whatevers")
Sun, 20 Apr 2003 04:37:18 -0400
On Sun, Apr 20, 2003 at 01:18:08AM -0700, Brett Cannon wrote:
> [Alex Martelli]
> > On Sunday 20 April 2003 08:09 am, Prabhu Ramachandran wrote:
> <snip> ...
> > In the context of Numeric use, it's quite appropriate to have sum,
> > and the other ufuncs' reduce AND accumulate methods. In everyday
> > programming in other fields, the demand for the functionality given by
> > sum is FAR higher than that given by prod.
> I think part of the trouble here is the name. The word "sum" just
> automatically causes one to think math. This leads to thinking of
> multiplication, division, and subtraction. But Alex's proposed function
> does more than a summation by special-casing the concatentation of
The special case is just a performance optimization. Without it the
sum function would still return the same result. The sum function
should work for any object that defines a + operator.
I agree that the name 'sum' isn't 100% intuitive for use with strings
but I can't think of any name that would be really natural for both.