Any other Python flaws?

Alex Martelli aleaxit at
Thu Jun 14 17:49:14 EDT 2001

"jcm" <grumble at> wrote in message
news:9gb6ap$p10$1 at
> Edward C. Jones <edcjones at> wrote:
> > It follows from some basic concepts of Python that
> >      "array = ([0] * 10) * 10"
> > does not behave as usually intended. This is a well-known "dark
> > corner" of Python; a place it is simply best to avoid.
> For this example, what would you say people would usually expect?

Presumably the same as
    array = [0]*100
but then, this *IS* what they get.

Maybe Edward meant
    a = [[0]*10]*10
with the "well-known dark corner" that now a[i] is a[j] for all i and
j in range(10), as opposed to, say,
    a = [[0]*10 for i in range(10)]
where the 'is' doesn't hold (except when i is j:-).  But I'm not sure
why "it's simply best to avoid" the simple semantics that, for any
expression, [<expression>]*n gives me a list with n references to
the SAME object (result of just ONE evaluation of <expression>),
while [<expression> for i in range(n)] evaluates the expression n
separate times (whether that gives n references to the same object
being therefore strictly dependent on the expression).


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