[Python-Dev] PEP 276 (simple iterator for ints)

Chermside, Michael mchermside at ingdirect.com
Wed Jun 30 16:31:51 EDT 2004

Andrew Koenig writes:
> I happened to look at PEP 276 and was struck by the thought 
> that PEP 276 is
> really an implementation of the well-known set-theoretic 
> construction of the
> natural numbers that defines each natural number as the set 
> of all smaller
> ones.  In other words, it defines 0 as the empty set, 1 as 
> the set whose
> only element is 0, 2 as the set whose elements are 0 and 1, and so on.

Interesting. I suppose that could be added as an extra argument
against those who claim that [0,1,2,3,4,5] is *NOT* the sequence
of integers "obviously" associated with the number 6. As for me,
even before I started using Python I had already become convinced
of that.

PEP 276 is worth a second look. In fact, it's trivial to
implement, and what it REALLY needs is a champion to bring it up
with the BDFL (and others).

Seriously, folks, replacing every one of these:

    >>> for i in range(len(myList)):
    ...     doSomethingWithIndexes(i)

with this:

    >>> for i in len(myList):
    ...     doSomethingWithIndexes(i)

is simple and elegant. And while at first glance it seems like
allowing iteration over ints would open up all kinds of subtle
bugs, I find that the PEP does a good job of arguing that it

-- Michael Chermside

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