[Python-Dev] Suggestion for a new built-in - flatten
fuzzyman at voidspace.org.uk
Fri Sep 22 19:43:42 CEST 2006
I have a suggestion for a new Python built in function: 'flatten'.
This would (as if it needs explanation) take a single sequence, where
each element can be a sequence (or iterable ?) nested to an arbitrary
depth. It would return a flattened list. A useful restriction could be
that it wouldn't expand strings :-)
I've needed this several times, and recently twice at work. There are
several implementations in the Python cookbook. When I posted on my blog
recently asking for one liners to flatten a list of lists (only 1 level
of nesting), I had 26 responses, several of them saying it was a problem
they had encountered before.
There are also numerous places on the web bewailing the lack of this as
a built-in. All of this points to the fact that it is something that
would be appreciated as a built in.
There is an implementation already in Tkinter :
import _tkinter._flatten as flatten
There are several different possible approaches in pure Python, but is
this an idea that has legs ?
All the best,
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