[Python-ideas] Python Users Aren't Perfect

Ned Batchelder ned at nedbatchelder.com
Thu Dec 15 22:09:31 CET 2011

On 12/15/2011 3:59 PM, Tim Delaney wrote:
> On 16 December 2011 07:42, Ned Batchelder <ned at nedbatchelder.com 
> <mailto:ned at nedbatchelder.com>> wrote:
>     This is another place where Python is inconsistent.  We're told,
>     "lists are for homogenous sequences of varying length, like a C
>     array; tuples are for heterogenous aggregations of known length,
>     like a C struct."   Then we define a function foo(*args), and
>     Python gives us a tuple!  :-(
> How is that inconsistent? At the point where the tuple is constructed, 
> it has a known length. And it's definitely a heterogenous aggregation.
> I think where you're getting confused is that you're thinking of a 
> *single* struct definition for every tuple. But the concept you should 
> have is that each tuple has its own struct definition. And with 
> functions, the structure is defined at function call time.
Tim, this seems misguided to me.  Finish that foo function definition: 
it will *have* to have  "for a in args:"   Since I don't know the length 
of args when I write the function, I have to treat it as an unknown 
length.  What good is a "structure" that changes length and definition 
with every instance?  I think you're trying too hard to fit the reality 
into the theory.


> Tim Delaney
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