Python vs. Perl

Thomas Wouters thomas at
Sat May 26 11:17:03 CEST 2001

On Sat, May 26, 2001 at 08:50:53AM +0200, Alex Martelli wrote:

> Ah, the keys in a dictionary (hash) display are taken as literal
> and the values aren't?  How quaint.  I used to know Perl pretty
> well and wrote tens thousands of lines in it -- I'm so glad I am
> at last forgetting its gyrations!-)  Is it a stropping issue?  Why
> are the quotes needed after the '=>'s -- or, ARE they?

The trick is in the => construct. It has no special dict (err, hash)
meaning. In perl, hashes are just flat lists of key,value pairs. So a dict
literal would be:

 ('key1', 'value1', 'key2', 'value2');

Or, if you want to create an anonymous dict (this evaluates to a reference
to a dict -- does it look familiar ?)

 {'key1', 'value2', 'key2', 'value2'};

The => token simply quotes the preceding token, and then translates itself
into a comma. So 

 {key1 => 'value1', key2 => 'value2'};

is the same as the second example above.

Thomas Wouters <thomas at>

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