Most compact "X if X else Y" idiom

Aaron "Castironpi" Brady castironpi at
Sun Oct 12 07:25:56 CEST 2008

On Oct 12, 12:01 am, jbperez... at wrote:
> I find myself having to do the following:
>   x = (some complex expression)
>   y = x if x else "blah"
> and I was wondering if there is any built-in idiom that
> can remove the need to put (some complex expression)
> in the temporary variable x.
> e.g. something like the below:
>  y= foobar ((some complex expression), "blah")
> I realized foobar() can be easily coded as:
>   def foobar(a,b):
>     if a: return a
>     else: return b
> But I was wondering if there was a built-in function or syntax
> that already does this.

You could take your chances on 'or', as follows:

>>> (6+ (3<< 1) ) or 'blah'
>>> (6- (3<< 1) ) or 'blah'

You don't need to use the ternary statement:

y = (some complex expression)
if not y:
   y = "blah"

If you find yourself using it a lot, why not add it to your site's
utilities modules?  Take your time, and if you find numerous uses,
present them and make the case Python should have a built-in to do it,
something like 'ditto' marks:

(6- (3<< 1) ) if ditto else 'blah'

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