iterating through lists to delete elements

Peter Hansen peter at
Fri Aug 10 01:34:07 CEST 2001

(edited for conventional quoting style)

Lance.Ellinghaus at wrote:
> Joe Knapka wrote:
> > So it seems that (shudder) There's More Than One
> > Way To Do It. Isn't there supposed to be one (obvious) 
> > way?
> As you will learn through the years as a programmer, 
> there is normally more than one way to do anything in 
> software. It becomes a personal choice based on previous 
> programming and personal philosophy.

Joe was referring, of course, to one of Python's credos,
copied from one of the PSU's secret files by Tim Peters
(see which
claims "There should be one -- and preferably only one --
obvious way to do it."  

(It is commonly presumed he was not referring to sex...)

(Joe, I think the "make a copy and iterate over it 
while removing from the original" might be the 
"obvious" way to a beginner, while the filter
technique would become obvious to a more advanced
programmer.  More likely, this is one of the few
cases where the "preferably only one" wish fails.)

Peter Hansen, P.Eng.
peter at

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