Number of bits/sizeof int

Jon Clements joncle at
Sat Jan 31 08:44:04 CET 2009

On Jan 31, 7:29 am, John Machin <sjmac... at> wrote:
> On Jan 31, 6:03 pm, Jon Clements <jon... at> wrote:
> > Hi Group,
> > This has a certain amount of irony (as this is what I'm pretty much
> > after):-
> > From
> > "The int() type gained a bit_length method that returns the number of
> > bits necessary to represent its argument in binary:"
> > Any tips on how to get this in 2.5.2 as that's the production version
> > I'm stuck with.
> For a positive integer, the simplest method (not necessarily the
> fastest) is to count how many times you need to shift it right to make
> it become zero.
> For non-positive integers, what answers do you want?

Thankfully, all integers are positive!

Must have been having a blonde moment, 'cos as soon as I read your
answer it was "of course that works". Not concerned about 'fast' as I
hardly think with DB and disk I/O I'm going to worry about bit-

Much appreciated John,


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