Another Wart! string.find() [ was: namespace issue? ]
Steven D. Majewski
sdm7g at Virginia.EDU
Fri Jun 22 04:19:28 CEST 2001
On 21 Jun 2001, Chuck Esterbrook wrote:
> "Steven D. Majewski" <sdm7g at Virginia.EDU> wrote in message news:<mailman.993163773.29922.python-list at python.org>...
> > I'ld love to see it fixed, however, I suspect that in this case,
> > many lines of installed code trumps Computer Programming for Everybody!
> So is it a flaw, relative to CP4E, that sequences start at index 0
> instead of 1? An 'everybody' kind of person would think of the "first"
> element as e. Only someone familiar with pointer arithmetic from C
> or assembly would think that "first" is 0.
No -- that's not a "flaw" , it's an "engineering tradeoff" -- i.e.
you can't please everyone all the time!
Zero is natural whenever you are thinking in terms of offsets:
every ruler starts with an implied 0 inches (or cm. or other).
Zero based indexing makes slice indexing much easier to figure --
one-based indexing would make that more confusing to everyone.
Lots of other technical fields besides programming use zero based
indexing -- where do you think C got it ? Probably from mathematics
or engineering. Most high-school grads should be familiar with
Yeah -- there are arguments for 1 over 0, but whatever you choose
is going to be 'wrong' for somebody, some of the time.
And not surprising C programmers does have *some* value.
( But I can't really think of a good reason for string.find to return
-1 *except* that it wouldn't surprise a C programmer. )
-- Steve Majewski
More information about the Python-list