Default return values for out-of-bounds list item

gburdell1 at gburdell1 at
Fri Jan 22 02:56:00 CET 2010

Is there a built-in method in python that lets you specify a "default"
value that will be returned whenever you try to access a list item
that is out of bounds? Basically, it would be a function like this:

def item(x,index,default):
      return x[index]
   except IndexError:
      return default

So if a=[0,1,2,3], then item(a,0,44)=0, item(a,1,44)=1, and item(a,
1000,44)=44, item(a,-1000,44)=44

What I want to know is whether there is a built-in method or notation
for this. What if, for example, we could do something like a
[1000,44] ?

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