len() should always return something

Dr. Phillip M. Feldman pfeldman at verizon.net
Fri Jul 24 08:35:43 CEST 2009


Some aspects of the Python design are remarkably clever, while others leave
me perplexed. Here's an example of the latter: Why does len() give an error
when applied to an int or float? len() should always return something; in
particular, when applied to a scalar, it should return a value of 1. Of
course, I can define my own function like this:

def mylen(x):
   if isinstance(x,int) or isinstance(x,float): return 1
   return len(x)

But, this shouldn't be necessary.
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