python gripes survey

Donn Cave donn at
Tue Aug 26 00:27:39 CEST 2003

In article <ayv2b.194710$_R5.72873618 at>,
 "Ryan Lowe" <ryanlowe0 at> wrote:

> dont access the return values by their index; just unpack 'em.
> def getFruit() :
>     return 'apples', 'oranges'
> apples, oranges = getFruit()

Not a solution, as he has already pointed out in another
followup.  Why not

  oranges, apples = getFruit()

?  Well, obviously because that's wrong, but the problem
is that you may not realize it's wrong.  Able to remember
the order of items in the return from posix.stat()?  I am
not, and I've been using Python on UNIX for about a decade.
Here it is, in case you're wondering what I mean -

  (mode, ino, dev, nlink, uid, gid, size, atime,
   mtime, ctime) = os.stat('.')

So this particular case is actually resolved in 2.2 - the
return isn't really a tuple.

   >>> st = os.stat('.')
   >>> print st.st_uid
   >>> type(a)
   <type 'posix.stat_result'>

which is probably the best that can be done for Python.
If you were starting over from scratch, I think you'd
want to have and use a record type.

   Donn Cave, donn at

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