nested data structures in classes

Joel Forrest Moxley jfmoxley at MIT.EDU
Sun Aug 24 19:31:58 CEST 2003


Greetings python-list!

The good news is that I've been having a blast with Python since early
Spring.  I've had great success in both learning the language from online
/ usegroup resources and implementing it in one of my projects.  However,
I can't pretend to be an expert, and I do not have a strong comp sci
background.

This is a question that I've had for a while.  Usually, I'll stumble
across the answer with repeated attempts and re-searching the groups, but
I didn't have luck with this one, even in a Dietel book I picked up at the
library.  I'm assuming there's an obvious answer, so maybe ya'll can save
me some time.

My Python use involves organizing nested list information.  In a
simplified example, you could imagine a list of reactants and products in
a chemical reaction.  Thus,

len(nested_list_of_reactants) = len(nested_list_of_products) => "number of
reactions"
where: nested_list_of_reactants[i] => "list of reactants for reaction i"
where: nested_list_of_reactants[i][j] => "reactant j of reaction i"

And so forth.  Obviously, there are many attributes associated with a
specific reaction.  Currently, I just pass these attribute lists (nested
and non-nested) into and out of functions.  However, I'd like to be able
to create a class that would streamline this.

E.g., (this is a MATLAB structure whose qualities I'd like to emulate):
reaction(27).name = 'fawlty towers'
reaction(27).reactant(2).name = 'john cleese'

Currently, I'd have a list and a nested list to take care of this...
reaction_name[27] = 'fawlty towers' and reactants[27][2] = 'john cleese'
if this makes sense.

Any thoughts or suggestions on this type of data structuring would be
greatly appreciated.  Python love, Joel






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