Tuple parameter unpacking in 3.x

Steven D'Aprano steve at REMOVE-THIS-cybersource.com.au
Sun Oct 5 02:07:50 CEST 2008

On Sat, 04 Oct 2008 22:57:23 +0200, Martin Geisler wrote:

> Dennis Lee Bieber <wlfraed at ix.netcom.com> writes:
>> On Sat, 04 Oct 2008 13:14:40 +0200, Peter Otten <__peter__ at web.de>
>> declaimed the following in comp.lang.python:
>>> In 3.0 it has to be rewritten as
>>> def f(ab):
>>>     a, b = ab
>>>     return a*b
>>> i. e. it needs a statement and an expression and is therefore no
>>> longer suitable for a lambda.
>> 	Given that most lambda's are rather short, is it really that
>> much of a pain to just use (for the above example) ab[0]*ab[1] without
>> unpacking?
> Well -- it is because the code used to be short and sweet that it feels
> ugly to me to change
>   lambda (a, b): a * b
> into
>   lambda ab: ab[0] * ab[1]
> The first looks perfect -- it matches the math behind the code that I am
> writing. The second does not look so nice.

Here's another alternative. Compare:

>>> x = (2, 3)
>>> (lambda (a,b): a*b)(x)

with this:

>>> (lambda a,b: a*b)(*x)

> From reading the PEP-3113 I got the impression that the author thought
> that this feature was unused and didn't matter. With this I wish to say
> that it matters to me.

Alas, I think it's too late. I feel your pain.

The final release of Python 3.0 hasn't been made yet. If you really care 
strongly about this, you could write to the python-dev mailing list and 
ask if it is worth trying to change their mind about tuple unpacking. 
They'll almost certainly say no, but there's a chance it might be 
reverted in 3.1.

A tiny chance.


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