Underscores in Python numbers

Peter Hansen peter at engcorp.com
Sun Nov 20 03:22:27 CET 2005


Steven D'Aprano wrote:
> Dealing with numeric literals with lots of digits is
> a real (if not earth-shattering) human interface problem: it is hard for
> people to parse long numeric strings.

I'm totally unconvinced that this _is_ a real problem, if we define 
"real" as being even enough to jiggle my mouse, let alone shattering the 
planet.

What examples does anyone have of where it is necessary to define a 
large number of large numeric literals?  Isn't it the case that other 
than the odd constants in various programs, defining a large number of 
such values would be better done by creating a data file and parsing it?

And if that's the case, one could easily define any convention one 
desired for formatting the raw data.

And for the odd constant, either take a moment to verify the value, or 
define it in parts (e.g. 24*60*60*1000*1000 microseconds per day), or 
write a nice little variant on int() that can do exactly what you would 
have done for the external data file if you had more values.

-Peter



More information about the Python-list mailing list