Suggesting a new feature - "Inverse Generators"

Terry Reedy tjreedy at udel.edu
Fri Mar 25 20:13:52 CET 2005


Terminology: To me and some (most?) others posting here and, I believe, 
both the docs and the common meaning of 'generator', a Python generator is 
the particular kind of iterator that produces multiple values on request 
and which is created by the generator function that you write.

Acceptors (consumers): The concept is known to both CS and Python 
developers.  According to Tim Peters, Python generators constitute 
'semi-coroutines'.  Any full coroutine mechanism (Stackless, for instance) 
will allow the reverse (not inverse, which would undo rather than 
complement).  For various reasons, the Python developers choose that data 
chains should be written as consumer code getting data from a generator, 
which might in turn get data from a generator.

In your example, opening and reading the lines of the data file could be 
done by filterjunk, not the main function, but I can see reasons both ways.

For your specific problem, you could, I believe, use an intermediate 
generator (which could also be combined with filterjunk) that combines 
lines into complete text records.  Something like (ignoring any fussy 
details left out):

def textrecord(file):
  trlines = []
  for line in filterjunk(file):
    trlines.append(line)
    if complete(trline): yield ''.join(trlines)
    # where 'complete' is code to determine if have all lines in record or 
not

Terry J. Reedy






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