Building lists

Seymore4Head Seymore4Head at Hotmail.invalid
Tue Oct 21 02:05:01 CEST 2014

On Tue, 21 Oct 2014 10:55:08 +1100, Steven D'Aprano
<steve+comp.lang.python at> wrote:

>Seymore4Head wrote:
>> For starters I would like to know if you can make a single item list
>> and then turn it into a 2 item list.  Is there a command for that?
>> Do you have to know the number of items the list will have before
>> making it?
>Now these are the right sort of questions that you should be asking!
>They are concrete and tightly focused, not vague and so broad that they
>could mean anything, and they invite a concrete answer rather than hints.
>First question: can you take a single list item and turn it into a 2-item
>list? Yes, you can, you can turn a single list item into *anything*,
>including deleting it. Start with a list, and remember that lists are
>indexed starting with 0:
>py> alist = [1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64]
>py> alist[0] = "hello!"
>py> alist[1] = ["a", "b", "c"]
>py> del alist[4]
>py> print(alist)
>['hello!', ['a', 'b', 'c'], 4, 8, 32, 64]
>Second question: do you need to know the number of items in a list in
>advance? No. You can add additional items to an existing list with the
>append() method:
>py> import random
>py> alist = []
>py> while random.random() < 0.5:
>...     alist.append("spam")
>py> print(alist)
>['spam', 'spam']
>Because this is random, if you try it you will get an unpredictable number
>of "spam" words in the list. About half the time it will contain no words
>at all, about a quarter of the time it will contain a single word, an
>eighth of the time it will contain two words, and so forth.


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