What is xrange?

harrismh777 harmar at member.fsf.org
Fri Jul 29 21:47:33 CEST 2011

Billy Mays wrote:
> Is xrange not a generator?  I know it doesn't return a tuple or list, so
> what exactly is it?  Y doesn't ever complete, but x does.

      range(n) creates a list containing all the integers 0..n-1. This 
is a problem if you do range(1000000), because you'll end up with a >4Mb 
list. xrange deals with this by returning an object that pretends to be 
a list, but just works out the number needed from the index asked for, 
and returns that.

      range() can actually be faster in some cases - eg. if iterating 
over the same sequence multiple times. xrange has to reconstruct the 
integer object every time, but range will have real integer objects. (It 
will always perform worse in terms of memory however)

      xrange isn't usable in all cases where a real list is needed. For 
instance, it doesn't support slices, or any list methods.

m harris

FSF  ...free as in freedom/

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