enumerate() question

Leif K-Brooks eurleif at ecritters.biz
Mon May 22 16:39:49 CEST 2006

Gregory Petrosyan wrote:
> Hello!
> I have a question for the developer[s] of enumerate(). Consider the
> following code:
> for x,y in coords(dots):
>     print x, y
> When I want to iterate over enumerated sequence I expect this to work:
> for i,x,y in enumerate(coords(dots)):
>     print i, x, y
> Unfortunately, it doesn't  =(  and I should use (IMHO) ugly
> for i,pair in enumerate(coords(dots)):
>     print i, pair[0], pair[1]


for i, (x, y) in enumerate(coords(dots)):
     print i, x, y

> So, why enumerate() works this way and is there any chance of changing
> the behaviour?

Because enumerate has no way to distinguish between iterables you do and 
don't want unpacked. So, for example, this wouldn't work under your 

for index, string in ["foo", "bar", "baz"]:
     print "String number %s is %s." % (index, string)

But this would:

for index, x, y, z in ["foo", "bar", "baz"]:
     print "First character of string number %s is %s." % (index, x)

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