itertools.count() as built-in

John Machin sjmachin at
Mon May 29 03:36:40 CEST 2006

On 29/05/2006 9:50 AM, jantod at wrote:
> I have a project of around 6000 lines where I used count() 20 times. It
> has 14 modules, 10 of which I needed an explicit import.
> Many of the usages are of the form:
> for item, n in zip(items, count(N)):
>  dostuff
> Around half of these are due to using pylab.subplot(x,y.n), which
> requires values for n>=1. So I want N=1. The enumerate builtin starts
> from 0.

Call me a Luddite if you will, but I'd suggest that instead of
for item, n in zip(items, count(N)):
     dostuff(item, n)
you try
for n, item in enumerate(items):
     dostuff(item, n+N)
or (2)
n = N-1
for item in items:
     n += 1
     dostuff(item, n)

> I also write out textual reports that start with n=1.
> I also have things like
>   for n, component, rotations in zip(count(),
> sorted(tools.component_files().keys()), all_symbol_rotations)
> where the enumerate version just looks even more confusing and easy to
> mess up
>   for n, component, rotations in
> enumerate(sorted(tools.component_files().keys()), all_symbol_rotations)

As enumerate takes only 1 argument, I presume that is the messed-up version.

Yes, the correct version is a pain:
for n, (component, rotations) in enumerate(zip(yadda1, yadda2)):

Perhaps you could use something like this:

 >>> def zipwithcount(N, *args):
...     for x, guff in enumerate(zip(*args)):
...         yield guff + (x + N,)
 >>> list(zipwithcount(666, 'abc', 'xyz'))
[('a', 'x', 666), ('b', 'y', 667), ('c', 'z', 668)]


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