Efficiently building ordered dict

Diez B. Roggisch deets at nospam.web.de
Tue Feb 23 00:00:32 CET 2010

Am 22.02.10 23:48, schrieb Bryan:
> On Feb 22, 2:16 pm, "Diez B. Roggisch"<de... at nospam.web.de>  wrote:
>> Am 22.02.10 22:29, schrieb Bryan:
>>> On Feb 22, 10:57 am, "Alf P. Steinbach"<al... at start.no>    wrote:
>>>> * Bryan:
>>>>> I am looping through a list and creating a regular dictionary.  From
>>>>> that dict, I create an ordered dict.  I can't think of a way to build
>>>>> the ordered dict while going through the original loop.  Is there a
>>>>> way I can avoid creating the first unordered dict just to get the
>>>>> ordered dict?  Also, I am using pop(k) to retrieve the values from the
>>>>> unordered dict while building the ordered one because I figure that as
>>>>> the values are removed from the unordered dict, the lookups will
>>>>> become faster.  Is there a better idiom that the code below to create
>>>>> an ordered dict from an unordered list?
>>>>> unorderedDict = {}
>>>>> for thing in unorderedList:
>>>>>      if thing.id in unorderedDict:
>>>>>              UpdateExistingValue(unorderedDict[thing.id])
>>>>>      else:
>>>>>              CreateNewValue(unorderedDict[thing.id])
>>>> If this were real code the last statement would generate an exception.
>>>>> orderedDict = OrderedDict()
>>>>> for k in sorted(unorderedDict.keys()):
>>>>>      orderedDict[k]  unorderedDict.pop(k)
>>>> This is not even valid syntax.
>>>> Please
>>>>      (1) explain the problem that you're trying to solve, not how you
>>>>          imagine the solution, and
>>>>      (2) if you have any code, please post real code (copy and paste).
>>>> The above code is not real.
>>>> Cheers&    hth.,
>>>> - Alf
>>> Sorry about the sorted != ordered mix up.  I want to end up with a
>>> *sorted* dict from an unordered list.  *Sorting the list is not
>>> practical in this case.*  I am using python 2.5, with an ActiveState
>>> recipe for an OrderedDict.
>>> Given these requirements/limitations, how would you do it?
>>> My solution is to create a regular dict from the list.  Then sort the
>>> keys, and add the keys+values to an OrderedDict.  Since the keys are
>>> being added to the OrderedDict in the correctly sorted order, at the
>>> end I end up with a OrderedDict that is in the correctly *sorted*
>>> order.
>> If that works for you, I don't understand your assertion that you can't
>> sort the list. If you have the space&  time to sort the intermediate
>> dict, then it's as easy to create the list&  sort&  then the ordered
>> dict from it. It should be faster, because you sort the keys anyway.
>> Diez
> Here is how I am converting a regular dict to an ordered dict that is
> sorted by keys.
> def _getOrderedDict(theDict):
> 	ordered = OrderedDict()
> 	for k in sorted(theDict.keys()):
> 		ordered[k] = theDict.pop(k)
> 	return ordered
> The list is a bunch of objects that represent hours worked by
> employees on particular jobs, and accounts, and client purchase orders
> etc.  From this list, I am generating these sorted dicts that contain
> summarizing information about the list.  So one of the sorted dicts
> will give a summary of hours worked by job number.  Another one will
> give summary information by client PO number etc.  So instead of
> sorting the list a bunch of different ways, I keep the list as is,
> generate the summaries I need into dictionaries, and then sort those
> dictionaries as appropriate.

Again - why? Unless there is some filtering going on that reduces the 
number of total entries before the sorting when building the 
intermediate dict, a simple

ordered = OrderedDict(sorted(the_list, key=lambda v: v['some_key']))

won't cost you a dime more.

I think you believe in building the dict so that ou can have the key for 
sorting. As shown abov - you don't need to.

It might even benefitial to really re-sort the original list, because 
that spares you the intermediate list.


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