chop() and empty() functions

Jeremy L. Moles jeremy at
Fri May 26 23:10:23 CEST 2006

On Sat, 2006-05-27 at 06:22 +1000, John Machin wrote:
> On 27/05/2006 2:54 AM, Jeremy L. Moles wrote:
> ["chop" snipped]
> > 
> > Furthermore, what do people think about the idea of adding a truly
> > empty, no-op global lambda somewhere in Python? I use them a lot
> What is the use case? Why write something like """empty(foo, 42, 
> cmd="xyzzy")""" when you could merely write "pass" or nothing at all?

Well, in a lot of the libraries I use, there is often a need for a
callback of some sort. Sure, I--and most other people--often define an
empty, no-op function of some sort when you want to at least have
"something" there, but I thought it might be kinda' neat to be able to
have a builtin called empty() or noop() that returned a (possibly
optimized?) function that just did nothing. :) It probably is a dumb
idea, hehe... the chop() was the big one I thought people might comment

For example, I often do stuff like this for handling "input events" in

	evhandlers = [emptyfunc for i in range(MAX_NUM_EVENTS)]

	evhandlers[EVENT_NUMBER] = self.my_handler_function

...and then in the actual input loop I'll come along and say...


In this way I don't have to test the value of any event and behave
accordingly--I just send it on it's way. 

It's just an iterative way to say, "Okay, give me some default behavior
for everything, and I'll come back around later and set the explicit
handlers later."

This same design is probably used in other areas too... that's why I
brought up the "truly empty noop" thing; it would give me fuzzy feeling
to know that in those cases where empty() is defined, nothing is
happening (although, this could currently be the case in Python, I'm not
sure--I don't know a lot about Python internals).

Again, it's not a big deal. Just wondered what people thought. :)

> > (usually defining a: empty = lambda *a, **k: None somewhere at the
> > topmost module space), but if enough people did too, it might be worth
> > adding an empty() builtin to much later versions of Python.
> > 

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