Negative array indicies and slice()

Chris Angelico rosuav at
Thu Nov 1 15:40:22 CET 2012

On Fri, Nov 2, 2012 at 1:12 AM, Ethan Furman <ethan at> wrote:
> In other words, the slice contains the strings, and my code calculates
> the offsets -- Python doesn't do it for me.

That's correct, but you're still translating those strings into
numeric indices. You can slice a database record based on column names
(though personally I would recommend against it - creates too much
dependence on column order, which I prefer to treat as
non-significant), but you can't, for instance, slice a dictionary by

foo = {"asdf":123,"qwer":234,"zxcv":345,"1234":456}
foo["qwer":"1234"] # What should this return?

I suppose conceptually you could slice any iterable by discarding till
you match the start, then yielding till you match the stop, then
returning (it'd function like itertools.islice but using non-numeric
indices - somehow). But it still depends on there being a dependable

(Incidentally, isinstance(X, (str, unicode)) can become isinstance(X,
basestring) - they both inherit from that.)


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