stylistic question -- optional return value
BPettersen at NAREX.com
Wed Aug 28 15:12:23 EDT 2002
> From: Andrew Koenig [mailto:ark at research.att.com]
> >> From: Andrew Koenig [mailto:ark at research.att.com]
> >> Suppose I have a function that sometimes returns one value
> >> and sometimes returns two. What's the cleanest way to define
> >> such an interface?
> Bjorn> The only time I've had type errors in my Python
> programs is when
> Bjorn> I've tried to do this with a function. If I *have* to do it, I
> Bjorn> would probably chose something along the lines of:
> Bjorn> def fn(args):
> Bjorn> class Tmp: pass
> Bjorn> tmp = Tmp()
> Bjorn> ...
> Bjorn> tmp.x = __
> Bjorn> tmp.y = __
> Bjorn> return tmp
> Bjorn> your next question should be "why isn't fn a method of Tmp
> Bjorn> instead" to which I would reply "indeed" <wink>
> Actually, my next question would be why you didn't use a
> 2-tuple instead of defining a class with the same properties.
I could have used a dict, but I generally never use tuples if I need to
return a variable number of arguments. Since I'm assuming the values
you're returning are related, it seems natural to me to wrap them up in
> And my answer to your question is that the function I'm
> defining is actually a family of methods in a fairly
> substantial class hierarchy.
You know your situation best of course, so maybe it makes more sense for
you to always return a tuple with sentinels for missing data...?
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