Newbie question about nested lists and constructor functions...

Chris Gonnerman chris.gonnerman at
Mon Mar 5 05:01:54 CET 2001

Could you please post example(s) so we know exactly what is giving you
trouble?  I at least don't quite know what you are asking.

The constructor function (Python calls it "__init__") is created thus:

class Spam:
    def __init__(self):

and of course __init__ might have additional arguments.  If you are creating
a nested list with known initializers, you might say:

myvar = [ [ "list", 2, 3, 4 ], [ 'A', 'B', 'C' ] ]

so if you want to create a nested list in an __init__ function:

class Spam:
    def __init__(self):
        self.eggbasket = [ [ "list", 2, 3, 4 ], [ 'A', 'B', 'C' ] ]

to assign a nested list to a class attribute.  If you are passing in
which you wish to assign that way, you would embed it in the given syntax.

class Spam:
    def __init__(self, eggs):
        self.eggbasket = [ eggs, [ "spam", "spam", "spam" ] ]

my_spam = Spam([ "egg", "egg", "egg"])

which would nest the given list of eggs within the eggbasket member of
You might alternately want to make a copy of the initializer instead of
a reference:

class Spam:
    def __init__(self, eggs):
        self.eggbasket = [ eggs[:], [ "spam", "spam", "spam" ] ]

[:] (slice of all) is the Pythonic "shallow" list copier.

Of course this is all potentially nonsense as, again, I don't exactly know
you are wanting to do.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Bartok" <JollyRoger at>
Subject: Newbie question about nested lists and constructor functions...
> I need some help with nested lists when using class constructors to
> initialize their contents.  I found the tutorial to be of not much help in
> this area and have tried everything that I can think of.
> I understand the process as I am an experienced C++ programmer but I seem
> be having some difficulty using the correct syntax.  Can anyone please

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