range question, compared to Smalltalk
tim.one at comcast.net
Tue Aug 27 23:18:07 CEST 2002
> I'm a Python newbie, so forgive me, if I'm asking stupid questions :-)
> If I write this:
> import random
> random.choice(range(0, 100000000))
Python's range(i, j) always builds an explicit list with max(0, j-i)
> it took very long to calculate a random number (I know, I can use
> "random.randint(0, 1000000000)").
random.randrange(1000000000) would be best.
> Looks like "range" returns a normal list.
> Why not an object?
A list is an object.
> If I write this in Smalltalk:
> (0 to: 1000000000000) at: 12345678901
> I get the result immediately. If I write "range(0, 1000000000)" in Python
> I'll get a Memory Error.
So don't do that in Python.
> Another question: How can I generate very high random numbers? If I write
> "random.randint(0L, 100000000000000L)" I'll get an overflow error.
Working with unbounded ints often requires entirely different algorithms.
Here's one way people have found useful for generating random huge ints:
> I thought everything is an object
That's so, yes.
> and I can use small and long integers as I want.
You can *try* to, sure. Some operations have limits, though, and some
algorithms have limitations. You're not going to have much luck with
s = 'x' * 100000000000000000000000000000000000
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