String splitting question

Jim Meyer jmeyer at
Wed Apr 9 17:21:21 CEST 2003

On Tue, 2003-04-08 at 23:45, Jim Shady wrote:
> Hello,
> I am a beginner at Python and I just joined this group.
> I have a string:
> abcd/df/a/iiwk/abcdefghijkl/b/c
> I need to get the longest string between the /s of the string. For
> example, longest_str() for the above line should return
> 'abcdefghijkl'. How do I go about doing this?

Toss this one onto the heap; it feels a bit more pythonic and
straightforward than some of the solutions offered:

  byLen = lambda a,b : cmp(len(a), len(b))
  words = 'abcd/df/a/iiwk/abcdefghijkl/b/c'.split('/')
  print words[-1]

Certainly not as clever as the solves authored by Peter Abel, William
Park, and Max M, but much more easily understood and maintained --
important if you ever want to leave a codebase behind without having to
leave the company. =]

BTW, if you're splitting on "/" because it's a path separator, you might
consider using os.sep instead; it makes your code a bit more portable.


Jim Meyer, Geek at Large                                  jmeyer at

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