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

Aahz aahz@pythoncraft.com
Sun, 20 Apr 2003 22:51:54 -0400

On Sun, Apr 20, 2003, Barry Warsaw wrote:
> 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.

Problem is, what *kind* of number?  While ints are in general easily
promotable (especially int 0), I'd prefer to make things explicit.
Aahz (aahz@pythoncraft.com)           <*>         http://www.pythoncraft.com/

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