how to find position of dictionary values

Diez B. Roggisch deets at
Mon Sep 1 11:37:56 CEST 2008

lee wrote:

> On Sep 1, 1:45 pm, Bruno Desthuilliers <bruno.
> 42.desthuilli... at websiteburo.invalid> wrote:
>> lee a écrit :
>> > hi,
>> > i have a dictionary as follows :
>> > kev :  {'phno': ['dgsd', 'gsdg', 'dfsdf', 'g'], 'email': ['dg',
>> > 'sgsd', 'sdfsdf', 'gdf'], 'name': ['ds', 'dsg', 'dsfds', 'fgdf'],
>> > 'address': ['sdg', 'dsgsdg', 'sdf', 'dfg']}
>> > if user is enters the 3rd item of key phno,
>> > ie "dfsdf" in my dict,
>> > how can i find it is the third  item in the internal list of phno of
>> > that dictionary?
>> It's quite simple (hint : read the FineManual(tm) for dict.items() and
>> list.index()), but  1/totally inefficient and 2/not garanteed to yield a
>> single value (what if 'dfsdf' happens to be also the 4th item of the
>> list bound to key 'address'   ?).
>> May I suggest you rethink your data structure instead ? What you have
>> here is obviously a collection of 'phno/email/name/address'records.
>> These records shouldn't be split across different objects. Assuming
>> 'phno' is a unique identifier for each record, a better data structure
>> would be:
>> records =  {
>>     'dgsd' : {'email': 'dg', 'name' : 'ds', 'address' : 'sdg'},
>>     'gsdg' : {'email': 'sgsd', 'name':'ds', 'address' : 'dsgsdg'},
>>     # etc
>> }
>> This way, the lookup is as simple and efficient as possible.
>> My 2 cents....
> hi,
>  i agree with u, my data strusture is not efficient. but all the
> records,,phno, email,address are all generated at runtime ,
> when the user enters them. so how can i design my datastructure in
> that case?

Are "u" short on keystrokes? You are not textmessaging here...

Regarding the actual question: there is no difference in building your or
the other structure. It's only a question of which key you use first.
Instead of first looking up the type of the record ("phno" or some such),
do that with the name of the user. If no record exists, create one. Then
populate the record with the user's values. Like this:

user = "dsdf"
phonenumber = "123"

record = records.setdefault(user, {})
record["phno"] = phonenumber


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