Sequence splitting

Lie Ryan lie.1296 at gmail.com
Fri Jul 3 19:27:59 CEST 2009


Brad wrote:
> On Jul 3, 12:57 am, Steven D'Aprano <st... at REMOVE-THIS-
> cybersource.com.au> wrote:
>> I've never needed such a split function, and I don't like the name, and
>> the functionality isn't general enough. I'd prefer something which splits
>> the input sequence into as many sublists as necessary, according to the
>> output of the key function.
> 
> That's not a bad idea, I'll have to experiment with the alternatives.
> My thought process for this, however, was that filter itself already
> splits the sequence and it would have been more useful had it not
> thrown away "half" of what it discovers. It could have been written to
> returned two sequences with very litter perf hit for all but very
> large input sequences, and been useful in more situations. What I
> *really* wanted was a way to make filter itself more useful, since it
> seems a bit silly to have two very similar functions.

It's not that easy. filter is nearly by definition a lazy function. The
various split/group functions is impossible to be made an efficient
iterator, since they must traverse the whole list before being sure that
they have finished the group/part of the split (or even to be sure that
they have all the group keys).

> Maybe this would be difficult to get into the core, but how about this
> idea: Rename the current filter function to something like "split" or
> "partition" (which I agree may be a better name) and modify it to
> return the desired true and false sequences. Then recreate the
> existing "filter" function with a wrapper that throws away the false
> sequence.

filter has a very deep root in functional programming, I doubt it will
change any time soon. Also, consider infinite iterators. With the
"filter as wrapper to partition" scheme, it is impossible for
split/group/partition to use infinite iterator.



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