Newbie: How to pass a dictionary to a function?

Gabriel Genellina gagsl-py2 at
Tue Apr 8 07:12:01 CEST 2008

En Tue, 08 Apr 2008 00:54:09 -0300, BonusOnus <Bonus.Onus at>  

> How do I pass a dictionary to a function as an argument?

The indentation is lost, so it's not easy to check your program.

> # Say I have a function foo...

Original: def foo(arg=[]). An empty list isn't a good default value here,  
perhaps you intended to use {}? Anyway, don't use mutable default values;  
see this FAQ entry:

def foo(arg):
     x = arg['name']
     y = arg['len']
     s = len(x)
     t = s + y
     return s, t

# don't use dict as a variable name, you're hiding the builtin dict type
my_dict = {}
my_dict['name'] = 'Joe Shmoe'
my_dict['len'] = 44

# don't use len as a name either
# nor string!
length, string = foo(my_dict)

> # This bombs with 'TypeError: unpack non-sequence'
> What am I doing wrong with the dictionary?

Nothing. Written as above, it works fine. Don't retype your programs,  
always copy & paste from the same source you're executing. If you get an  
exception, post the entire traceback with the exact exception name and  

Gabriel Genellina

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