Local variables persist in functions?

John Machin sjmachin at lexicon.net
Fri Nov 24 09:54:35 CET 2006

120psi at gmail.com wrote:
> I'm a bit baffled.  Here is a bit of fairly straightforward code:
> def _chunkify( l, chunkSize, _curList = list() ):

Quite apart from the default argument problem, which Duncan has
addressed, you have some problems with style and variable names. In
particular: give variables meaningful names ; "L".lower() is not
meaningful and also suffers from confusion with the digit 1 in some
fonts. There is no necessity for the _ in _curList in the above line.

Please consider reading http://www.python.org/dev/peps/pep-0008/

>     print _curList   # yay for printf debugging
>     if len( l ) <= chunkSize:
>         _curList.append( l )
>     else:
>         newChunk = l[:chunkSize]
>         _curList.append( newChunk )
>         _chunkify( l[chunkSize:], chunkSize, _curList )
>     return _curList
> _chunkify simply breaks a sequence into a sequence of smaller lists of
> size <= chunkSize.  The first call works fine, but if I call it
> multiple times, weirdness happens.
> chunks = _chunkify( list, size )   # _curList keeps its previous value!
> chunks = _chunkify( list, size, list() )    # this works as expected

Is the first "list" a list, or is it the name of the same function that
you are calling to provide the 3rd argument?



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