Why bool( object )?

Steven D'Aprano steve at REMOVE-THIS-cybersource.com.au
Fri May 1 04:33:08 EDT 2009

On Fri, 01 May 2009 00:22:22 -0700, Paul Rubin wrote:

> Steven D'Aprano <steven at REMOVE.THIS.cybersource.com.au> writes:
>> for x in a or b or c:
>>     do_something_with(x)
> Ugh!!!!
>   for x in [a,b,c]:
>      if len(x) > 0:
>        do_something_with(x)
>        break

What ugly, wasteful code. And it's *wrong* -- it doesn't do what my code 

(1) Why build a list [a, b, c] that you don't need?

(2) Why assume that a, b and c are sequences with a fast __len__ method? 
They might be (say) linked lists that take O(N) to calculate the length, 
or binary trees that don't even have a length, but can be iterated over.

(3) And your code is wrong. I pass each element of the first non-empty 
sequence to do_something_with(). You pass the entire sequence. To do what 
my code does, you would need a nested for-loop like this:

for seq in [a,b,c]:
    if len(seq) > 0:
        for x in seq:


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