Cryptographically random numbers

Paul Rubin http
Wed Mar 8 00:10:09 CET 2006

"Tuvas" <tuvas21 at> writes:
> I've actually done the tests on this one, it's actually faster to use
> the += than a list, odd as it may sound. 

Frederik explained the reason; there's an optimization in Python 2.4
that I'd forgotten about, for that specific case.  It's not in earlier
versions.  It's a bit fragile in 2.4:

  a = ''
  for x in something:
    a += g(x)

is fast, but if a is aliased, Python can't do the optimization, so 

  a = ''
  b = a
  for x in something:
    a += g(x)

is slow.  Figuring out which case to use relies on CPython's reference
counting storage allocator (the interpreter keeps track of how many
pointers there are to any given object) and so the optimization may
not be feasible at all in other implementations which use different
storage allocation strategies (e.g. Lisp-style garbage collection).

All in all I think it's best to use a completely different approach
(something like StringBuffer) but my effort to start a movement here
on clpy a couple months ago didn't get anywhere.

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