Howegrown wordcount

David Wilson dw at
Fri Jun 11 20:38:47 CEST 2004

On Fri, Jun 11, 2004 at 11:05:32AM -0700, Thomas Philips wrote:
> I've coded a little word counting routine that handles a reasonably
> wide range of inputs. How could it be made to cover more, though
> admittedly more remote, possibilites such as nested lists of lists,
> items for which the string representation is a string containing lists
> etc. etc. without significantly increasing the complexity of the
> program?


Such 'magical' behaviour is error prone and causes many a headache when
debugging. Some might think that even this is too much:

>     #Treat iterable inputs differently
>     if "__iter__" in dir(input):
>         wordList =(" ".join([str(item) for item in input])).split()
>     else:
>         wordList = [str(input)]

Myself included. Perhaps instead of increasing the complexity of this
function, why not write a few wrapper functions if you have the need.


"Science is what we understand well enough to explain to a
computer. Art is everything else we do."
    -- Donald Knuth

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