Help understanding the decisions *behind* python?

Niels L. Ellegaard niels.ellegaard at
Tue Jul 21 00:39:24 CEST 2009

Phillip B Oldham <phillip.oldham at> writes:

> We often find we need to do manipulations like the above without
> changing the order of the original list, and languages like JS allow
> this. We can't work out how to do this in python though, other than
> duplicating the list, sorting, reversing, then discarding.

If you just want a one-liner, and you don't care about speed you can
do the following (but I don't think this is considered best practice)

>>> x = [2,1,3]
>>> print list(sorted(x))   
[1, 2, 3]
>>> print x
[2, 1, 3]


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