[Python-Dev] Proposal: defaultdict
ianb at colorstudy.com
Sat Feb 18 00:21:52 CET 2006
Martin v. Löwis wrote:
>>I know *I* at least don't like code that mixes up access and
>>modification. Maybe not everyone does (or maybe not everyone thinks of
>>getitem as "access", but that's unlikely). I will assert that it is
>>Pythonic to keep access and modification separate, which is why methods
>>and attributes are different things, and why assignment is not an
>>expression, and why functions with side effects typically return None,
>>or have names that are very explicit about the side effect, with names
>>containing command verbs like "update" or "set". All of these
>>distinguish access from modification.
> Do you never write
> This is modification and access, all in a single statement, and all
> without assignment operator.
(d[some_key]) is access. (...).append(some_value) is modification.
Expressions are compound; of course you can mix both access and
modification in a single expression. d[some_key] is access that returns
something, and .append(some_value) modifies that something, it doesn't
> I don't see the setting of the default value as a modification.
> The default value has been there, all the time. It only is incarnated
It is lazily incarnated for multidict, because there is no *noticeable*
side effect -- if there is any internal side effects that is an
implementation detail. However for default_factory=list, the result of
.keys(), .has_key(), and .items() changes when you do d[some_key].
Ian Bicking / ianb at colorstudy.com / http://blog.ianbicking.org
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