More random python observations from a perl programmer

Greg Ewing greg.ewing at
Mon Aug 23 06:25:12 CEST 1999

Tom Christiansen wrote:
> As for the tuple thing, why can I say
>     print "You have $%0.2f bucks" % (4.5/100)
> How is that a singleton tuple?  Don't I have to use
> a trailing comma?

The formatting operator recognises a special case:
if you give it something which isn't a tuple, it
coerces it into a 1-tuple for you. This saves you
from having to use the awkward 1-tuple syntax when 
the format string has only one % item in it.

>  It won't let me!  Why is
>     print "You have $%0.2f bucks" % (4.5/100,)
> illegal,

It's not illegal! It works just fine:

>>> print "You have $%0.2f bucks" % (4.5/100,)
You have $0.04 bucks

> but
>     print "You have $%0.2f bucks" % ((4.5/100,) * 2)
> mandatory?

No, that one doesn't work:

>>> print "You have $%0.2f bucks" % ((4.5/100,) * 2)
Traceback (innermost last):
  File "<pyshell#9>", line 1, in ?
    print "You have $%0.2f bucks" % ((4.5/100,) * 2)
TypeError: not all arguments converted

> Was this (elt,) thing just an, er, unforeseen design
> misfeature?

For what it's worth, I don't much like it either. It would
be better if tuple construction had a clear and unambiguous
syntax like list and dictionary construction. But there don't
seem to be enough kinds of brackets left over in the ascii
character set...


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