[Python-ideas] 'default' keyword argument for max(), min()

Jared Grubb jared.grubb at gmail.com
Fri Apr 17 09:33:48 CEST 2009

On 16 Apr 2009, at 16:07, Raymond Hettinger wrote:
>>> The discussion has indeed sidetracked with handling the special  
>>> cases,
>>> signature definition and whatnot, but I believe meeting the  
>>> conditions
>>> you outlined above is not as rare as their number implies.
> This may be a symptom of a particular programming style.
> I've found zero useful examples in scans of the standard library,
> in my own personal code base, or third-party extensions that I use  
> regularly.

I did find one example in the stdlib in my scan (Python 2.6.1):

     def _min_indent(self, s):
         "Return the minimum indentation of any non-blank line in `s`"
         indents = [len(indent) for indent in  
         if len(indents) > 0:
             return min(indents)
             return 0

Note, however, that I only found 3 examples total that used an  
iterable at all (almost all of the cases in the stdlib were of the  
form "min(x,y)").

The other two examples were in timeit and urllib2, but each knew the  
iterables were non-empty because it had explicitly constructed them in  
such a way that they could not be empty.


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