Anonymus functions revisited

George Sakkis gsakkis at
Fri Mar 25 23:09:38 CET 2005

"Ron_Adam" <radam2 at> wrote:

> On 25 Mar 2005 10:09:50 GMT, Duncan Booth
> <duncan.booth at invalid.invalid> wrote:
> >I've never found any need for an is_defined function. If in doubt I just
> >make sure and initialise all variables to a suitable value before use.
> >However, I'll assume you have a good use case.
> I admit that that is the better practice.  George's example was the
> conversion of data from one form to another where the data is mixed
> with complete and incomplete items.  And Kay is looking at tuple
> unpacking.
> It's hard to beat try/except for these situations though. :)

I posted a recipe in python cookbook
( for the subproblem I was interested
in initially (variable-length iterable unpacking), and I prefer it over explicit try/except (but of
course I'm biased :-)). Kay is proposing something even more general and powerful, and it will be
interesting to see if all this brainstorming can be brought forward more 'formally', e.g. at a PEP
or pre-PEP level.


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