One liners

rusi rustompmody at
Sat Dec 7 18:10:50 CET 2013

On Saturday, December 7, 2013 10:26:04 PM UTC+5:30, Michael Torrie wrote:
> On 12/06/2013 08:27 PM, Roy Smith wrote:
> >  Steven D'Aprano  wrote:
> >> The ternary if is slightly unusual and unfamiliar
> > It's only unusual an unfamiliar if you're not used to using it :-)  
> > Coming from a C/C++ background, I always found the lack of a ternary 
> > expression rather limiting.  There was much rejoicing in these parts 
> > when it was added to the language relatively recently.  I use them a lot.
> > On the other hand, I found list comprehensions to be mind-bogglingly 
> > confusing when I first saw them (read: slightly unusual and unfamiliar).  
> > It took me a long time to warm up to the concept.  Now I love them.
> >> As for readability, I accept that ternary if is unusual compared to other 
> >> languages, but it's still quite readable in small doses. If you start 
> >> chaining them:
> >> result = a if condition else b if flag else c if predicate else d 
> >> you probably shouldn't.
> > That I agree with (and it's just as true in C as it is in Python).
> > Just for fun, I took a look through the Songza code base.  66 kloc of 
> > non-whitespace Python.  I found 192 ternary expressions.  Here's a few 
> > of the more bizarre ones (none of which I consider remotely readable):
> > --------------------------------------------------
> > extracols = sorted(set.union(*(set( for t in tracks))) if 
> > tracks else []

> This is a generator expressions, and ternary ifs are common and often
> needed in generator expressions.

> > --------------------------------------------------
> > c2s = compids2songs(set(targets.keys()) | 
> > set.union(*map(set,targets.itervalues())),self.docmap,self.logger) if 
> > targets else {}

> I suspect the ternary distracted you on this one.  The ternary here is
> needed because if targets is None the expression fails.  This part
> anyway is a common idiom.

> The rest is basically making a set (list of unique items only) of the
> combined keys and values from the "targets" dictionary.  Now I'm not
> sure why the programmer needs do this, but nevertheless that's what it's
> doing.  set.union is used because that can iterate over a list of sets,
> which is what the map returns.  I suppose they could have done this, but
> it wouldn't be much clearer unless you knew what sets, map and
> itervalues do:

> if targets:
>     c2s = compids2songs(
>             set(targets.keys()) |
>               set.union(*map(set,targets.itervalues())),
>             self.docmap,
>             self.logger )
> else:
>    c2s = {}

> In any case the ternary operator isn't really the part you were
> complaining about.  Personally if I needed to do this particular
> operation a lot (combine keys and values into a set), I'd write a
> function that returned the set.  Still can't avoid the ternary, though,
> unless you made compids2songs a little smarter (and we don't know what
> compids2songs does with an empty set):

> def dict_keys_and_values_set (some_dict):
>    return set(some_dict.keys()) |
>             set.union(*map(set,some_dict.itervalues()))

> c2s = compids2songs( dict_keys_and_values_set(targets) ) if targets else {}

> or I suppose you could o this:

> c2s = {}
> if targets: c2s = compids2songs( dict_keys_and_values_set(targets) )

> Just a matter of taste.

> > --------------------------------------------------
> > code = 2 if (pmp3,paac)==(mmp3,maac) else 3 if any(x is None for x in 
> > (pmp3,paac,mmp3,maac)) else 4
> > --------------------------------------------------

Just trying to rewrite that in a way which I try to use for long if-exprs

code =  2    if (pmp3,paac)==(mmp3,maac)                       else
        3    if any(x is None for x in (pmp3,paac,mmp3,maac))  else

> This one probably could stand to be reworked for sure!  A standard if
> block would be much clearer.  Definitely an example of a programmer
> thinking he was clever... maybe a git bisect could identify the author
> and we can shame him.

The logic for writing (and hopefully reading) it this way is like this:

In math we often have equations that are defined by cases -- typically typeset 
with a large curly bracket.  Those else's hanging at the end are to be read as
a signal to read this whole expr and though under a big curly brace.

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