Lists and Tuples
roy at panix.com
Fri Dec 5 16:29:33 CET 2003
In article <r650tv4f9b2k967jgc0cta3vllfohb49il at 4ax.com>,
Jeff Wagner <JWagner at hotmail.com> wrote:
> I've spent most of the day playing around with lists and tuples to get a
> really good grasp on what
> you can do with them. I am still left with a question and that is, when
> should you choose a list or
> a tuple? I understand that a tuple is immutable and a list is mutable but
> there has to be more to it
> than just that. Everything I tried with a list worked the same with a tuple.
> So, what's the
> difference and why choose one over the other?
The big difference is that tuples (because they are immutable) can be
used as dictionary keys.
So, if you are going to use it as a key, it's got to be a tuple. If
you're going to want to add/delete/change items in it, it's got to be a
If you will never change it, but have no syntatic constraint forcing it
to be immutable, you can pick whichever turns you on. From a stylistic
point of view, I tend to think of tuples when I need to bundle up a
collection of related items (such as a function returning multiple
items). Lists make me think of number of the same kind of item.
More information about the Python-list