no sign() function ?

Steven D'Aprano steve at
Wed Dec 24 08:19:48 CET 2008

On Tue, 23 Dec 2008 14:36:53 +0100, Pierre-Alain Dorange wrote:

> Steven D'Aprano <steven at> wrote:
>> But this is just duplicating what timeit already does. Trust me, learn
>> to use it, you won't be sorry. Here's a trick that took me a long time
>> to learn: instead of copying your functions into the setup code of
>> timeit, you can just import them.
> Thanks for the advise, i made the test using timeit and your very
> interesting method to import... Now i know how to use timeit simply ;-)
> New results on 1000 float values randomized from -500.0 to +500.0. Each
> test is timeit(1000)
> sign_0 : 0.375
> sign_1 : 0.444 (+18%)
> sign_2 : 0.661 (+76%)
> sign_3 : 0.498 (+33%)

Looking at those results, and remembering that each time is for one 
million iterations of one thousand calls each, I'd say that there's so 
little difference in speed between them, that you should choose whichever 
function is easier to understand. At least until you profile your 
application and discover that the sign() function is the bottleneck 
keeping your program slow.


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