Customizing sequence types

Mr.SpOOn mr.spoon21 at
Sun Nov 16 19:44:22 CET 2008

On Sun, Nov 16, 2008 at 7:15 PM, Arnaud Delobelle
<arnodel at> wrote:
> Mr.SpOOn <mr.spoon21 at> writes:
>> Hi,
>> I'm trying to create a class which inherit a list to change some behavior.
>> This list should contain other instance objects and has to manage
>> these instances in a particular way.
>> 1) I need to sort this elements in this list, but they must be sorted
>> using an instance variable.
> I don't understand what this means.

Well, inside the elements I need to order there is a variable that
stores a numeric value. I need to sort the elements using this value.

> Or sort them according to a key.

Ok, knowing what to search for I cleared my ideas. I think I just have
to choose between redefining __cmp__() or using the key argument.

>> 2) I need to have just unique elements. Maybe this is related to first
>> question (or maybe not). Again, to estabilish the uniqueness of an
>> element I have to use an instance variable. I think I have to rewrite
>> both the methods append() and __contains__(), but I'm not sure how.
>> For the first one I did:
>>     def append(self, element):
>>         if element in self:
>>             pass
>>         else:
>>             list.append(self, element)
>> It seems right to me, but I have no idea what to do with __contains__()
> Why do you need to redefine __contains__?

Well, to check the presence of an element according to an attribute.

> If I were you, I wouldn't inherit from list because it seems that your
> list-like object quite different from a plain list.

The most obvious choice seems to be stes. But the order is really
important. Maybe the best solution is using sets and convert them to
list when I need to access them in the correct order.

>You should probably use the `bisect` module
>( for searching and
>inserting into the list as it takes advantage of and ensures that the
>list keeps sorted. It also means that __contains__ and some other
>operations become O(log N) rather than O(N).

This seems good too, but I'd always have to check the presence of an
element before inserting a new one and it's still not clear to me how
to do it.

Thanks everybody.

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