python idioms: (was: a really cool python feature)

Neil Schemenauer nascheme at
Thu May 11 13:51:17 EDT 2000

Grant Griffin <g2 at> wrote:
>Forgive a possible newbie FAQ, but is there a page of Python
>idoms like this?

Python doesn't have too many idoms and that's a good thing.
string.join is not an idom.  That function is for exactly that
usage.  The only problem would be finding it in the library
reference.  The only really useful idioms I can think of right
now are:

    while 1:
        if condition:

using default arguments to simulate closures:

    def foo():
        a = 1
        def bar(a=a):
            print a

and doing some stuff if the module is '__main__':

    if __name__ == '__main__':

Can anyone think of more (ignoring tricks with lambda, reduce,
filter, and map)?


"Everyone can be taught to sculpt: Michelangelo would have had to
be taught how not to. So it is with the great programmers" -- Alan Perlis

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