Reading just a few lines from a text file

Paul McGuire ptmcg at
Tue Aug 23 23:54:36 CEST 2005

Are you sure this is really slowing down your program?  "Many hundreds
of lines" is not nearly enough to start Python breathing hard.  I have
been really impressed with just how quickly Python is able to do file
input and processing, zipping through whole megs of data in just

How are you currently reading the file in?  A character at a time?
That *will* be slow.  Try file.readlines(), or xreadlines(), and spin
off the last 20 in the list.

-- Paul

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