Why can't I xor strings?

David Bolen db3l at fitlinxx.com
Mon Oct 11 00:06:48 CEST 2004

Grant Edwards <grante at visi.com> writes:

> Only because Python lacks a logical xor operator, so you're
> used to thinking of ^ as a bitwise operator.  What if you saw
>   string1 xor string2?
> Wouldn't you expect it to be equivalent to
>   (string1 and (not string2)) or ((not string1) and string2)

Yes, no problem.  I was definitely working with the bitwise operator
which is what I thought the OP was originally desiring.

> > It doesn't feel natural to me to have my strings suddenly
> > interpreted as a new data type based on the operation at hand.
> > Logical operators work that way but not numerics
> I don't know what you mean by that.  Nobody seems to have a
> problem with "and" "or" and "not" operators using the truth
> values of strings.  What is there about "xor" that precludes it
> from behaving similarly?

I think we're just talking about different items.  I was referring to
the bitwise (^) xor operator (numeric), but not to a logical xor
operator.  I'd have no problem with a separate logical operator that
behaved like the other logical operators.

The fact that saying "xor" can imply either isn't helping :-)

-- David

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