PEP 255: Simple Generators, Revised Posting

Tim Peters at
Sun Jun 24 22:23:45 EDT 2001

[Bernhard Herzog]
> I wasn't aware of that! For that matter, I wasn't even aware that the
> compiler removed "if 0" blocks. When was that introduced. It even
> "works" with 1.5.2.

It was introduced along with "assert":  under the covers, assert gets
changed into

    if __debug__:
        do the assert code

__debug__ is a compile-time constant, and it was thought important that
asserts leave no trace (not even bytecode) under -O.  The mechanism for
getting rid of

    if __debug__:

at compile-time just happens to recognize literal numeric zeroes and empty
strings as meaning "false" too.

> ...
> you need to introduce a yield statement and make sure that it's never
> executed. The following works:
> >>> def g():
> ..     if ():
> ..             yield 0
> ..
> >>> for i in g():
> ..     print i
> ..
> >>>
> The compiler apparently isn't smart enough to think of () as a constant
> (the bytecode confirms that).

Right, it only knows about numbers, strings and the specific name

> Being able to easily write a function that does nothing (in fact it's
> the most trivial function one can write) is very useful in practice, so
> as a generalization being able to write empty generators might be
> useful, too. I'm not sure about that, though, because I don't have
> enough experience with them.

Can't say I see much use for it.  If I did, I'd probably write what
everybody hates:

def emptyg():
    yield None  # never reached

Stick that in a utility module and you'll never have to think about it

haven't-needed-an-always-empty-generator-yet-ly y'rs  - tim

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