Question about idioms for clearing a list

bearophileHUGS at lycos.com bearophileHUGS at lycos.com
Tue Jan 31 22:47:55 CET 2006


Diez B. Roggisch:
> The reason is that l = [] just rebinds a new object (a list, but it could be
> anything) to a name, while l[:] = [] will alter the object _referred_ to by
> l. That is a HUGE difference!

In my programs I have seen that there is another practical difference
between version 1 and 3:
(1) mylist[:] = []
(3) mylist = []
If you create a big mylist again and again many times, the version 1
uses the memory more efficiently (probably less work for the garbage
collector), and the program can be (quite) faster (this is true in some
implementations different from CPython too).

Bye,
bearophile




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