[Python-Dev] Fwd: summing a bunch of numbers (or "whatevers")

Barry Warsaw barry@python.org
20 Apr 2003 22:23:47 -0400

On Sun, 2003-04-20 at 20:58, Guido van Rossum wrote:

> (A minority view that I can't quite shake off: since the name sum()
> strongly suggests it's summing up numbers, sum([]) should be 0 and no
> second argument is allowed.  I find using sum() for a sequence of
> strings a bit weird anyway, and will probably continue to write
> "".join(S) for that case.)

I agree.  I'd rather see sum() constrain itself to numbers and sum([])
== 0.  Then I don't see a need for second argument.  "Summing" a list of
strings doesn't make much sense to me.