Do this as a list comprehension?

Lie Lie.1296 at
Sun Jun 8 10:32:58 CEST 2008

On Jun 8, 12:24 am, Mensanator <mensana... at> wrote:
> On Jun 7, 5:21�am, Paul Miller <n... at this.time> wrote:
> > On Fri, 06 Jun 2008 18:01:45 -0700, Mensanator wrote:
> > > What happens if your iterables aren't the same length?
> > I chose not to consider that case,
> That's a bad habit to teach a newbie, isn't it?
> > since they were the same length in the
> > original post. �
> The issue I'm stressing is HOW they got to be
> the same size. If I was teaching programming
> and the OP turned in that example, I would mark
> him down. Not because he got the answer wrong.
> Not because he used zip. Not because he failed
> to use enumerate or itertools. But because he
> hardcoded the array bounds and THAT'S the lesson
> the OP should take away from this.

Mark him down? Rather blind attack on the approach. If I have a
variable coord that contains (x, y, z) and I hardcoded their meanings
and bounds, you're still marking me down for the possibility of adding
a fourth dimension? While I'm aware that I won't ever be concerned by
the fourth, fifth, ... dimensions ever in my life.

In some usage, hardcoding has no harm and in fact might be useful.

If I have a data that contains 8 sections, and I know that since this
is a low level protocol, it's not going to grow legs and arms. It's
natural to use a list/tuple and hardcode the datas length.

> > Based on the variable names, it seemed reasonable that
> > there would always be a 1-to-1 correspondence between
> > elements of each list. �
> Yes, reasonable at the time. But this is Python,
> not C. Lists can change size under program control,
> a feature that's extremely useful. But there's a
> price for that usefulness. Practices that made
> sense in C (define a constant to set array bounds)
> aren't transportable over to systems that simply
> don't have the restrictions that require those
> practices.
> > However, if you do
> > score_costs = [(base_scores[i], score_costs[i]) for i in range (min (len
> > (base_scores), len (score_costs))]
> > then you get exactly what you would get using zip. �
> And if the iterables change size dynamically, you
> could get either a crash due to index out of range
> or else silently a wrong answer.
> > That's one heck of a
> > long line, though, hence my earlier comment:
> I have no problem telling the OP this method.
> But I think you should warn him about potential
> problems.
> Surely you didn't intend to leave him to twist
> in the wind so that he learns a thing or two
> when his programs crash?

That's the best way to learn: "making mistakes".
You don't learn anything if you never make mistakes.

> > If it doing what zip() does makes sense, then just use zip(). �Otherwise,
> > check for the case where the iterables are of different length, and do
> > the appropriate thing (raise an error, pad the shorter one, whatever).
> That's all I'm suggesting. Along with pointing out
> that enumerate or itertools can do this for him.

I think it's up to the OP, not you, to decide whether the use of bare
zip is enough and whether data truncation might or might not be a
problem. It seems that since he has used zip in his original post, he
thought it fits his situation best, perhaps its truncation behavior is
something he wanted to exploit in the first place.

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