tuples vs lists

Antoon Pardon apardon at forel.vub.ac.be
Wed Jan 12 03:33:04 EST 2005

Op 2005-01-11, Reinhold Birkenfeld schreef <reinhold-birkenfeld-nospam at wolke7.net>:
> Antoon Pardon wrote:
>> Op 2005-01-10, Bruno Desthuilliers schreef <bdesth.quelquechose at free.quelquepart.fr>:
>>> Antoon Pardon a écrit :
>>>> Op 2005-01-08, Bruno Desthuilliers schreef <bdesth.quelquechose at free.quelquepart.fr>:
>>>>>worzel a écrit :
>>>>>>I get what the difference is between a tuple and a list, but why would I 
>>>>>>ever care about the tuple's immuutability?
>>>>>Because, from a purely pratical POV, only an immutable object can be 
>>>>>used as kay in a dict.
>>><my-bad> s/kay/key/ </my-bad>
>>>> This is not true.
>>> Chapter and verse, please ?
>> I don't need chapter and verse. I have already used mutable
>> objects as keys and it works just fine.
>>>>> class hlst(list):
>>>>>  def __hash__(self):
>>>>>    sum = 0
>>>>>    for el in self:
>>>>>      sum += hash(el)
>>>>>    return sum % 0x37777777
> Given this hash function, how do you handle changed keys?

I don't change keys. The fact that I like to use a mutable
as a key doesn't imply I want to mutate a key.

> And if you can't access the element when it's changed, what is the
> advantage over using tuples?

The debate over what the adavantage is of tuples over lists or vice
versa as keys in dictionaries is IMO misguided. Whether I use a list
or a tuple is not guided by whether they are going to be used as a
key or not, but how in general the data is to be manipulated.

If the typical manipulations are modifications of an existing object,
I use a list, if the typical manipulation creates new objects out
of old ones I use a tuple. If I then find that I need this object
as a key, I just provide a hash so that I can use this object as
a key in a straight forward manner, without the hassle of converting
to and from a tuple all the time.

Antoon Pardon

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