[Python-ideas] [Python-Dev] minmax() function returning (minimum, maximum) tuple of a sequence

Ron Adam rrr at ronadam.com
Fri Oct 15 20:09:17 CEST 2010

On 10/15/2010 12:27 PM, Georg Brandl wrote:
> Am 15.10.2010 19:13, schrieb Ron Adam:
>> [Tal also says]
>>> As Guido mentioned, there is never a reason to do max(value) where
>>> value is not an iterable.
>> Well, you can always avoid doing it, but that doesn't mean it wouldn't be
>> nice to have sometimes.  Take a look at the following three coroutines that
>> do the same exact thing.  Which is easier to read and which would be
>> considered the more Pythonic.
>> def xmin(*args, **kwds):
>>       # Allow min to work with a single non-iterable value.
>>       if len(args) == 1 and not hasattr(args[0], "__iter__"):
>>           return min(args, **kwds)
>>       else:
>>           return min(*args, **kwds)
> I don't understand this function.  Why wouldn't you simply always call
>     return min(args, **kwds)
> ?

Because it would always interpret a list of values as a single item.

This function looks at args and if its a single value without an "__iter__" 
method, it passes it to min as min([value], **kwds) instead of min(value, 

Another way to do this would be to use a try-except...

          return min(*args, **kwds)
     except TypeError:
          return min(args, **kwds)


More information about the Python-ideas mailing list