Seymore4Head Seymore4Head at Hotmail.invalid
Mon Sep 15 17:27:54 CEST 2014

On Mon, 15 Sep 2014 16:59:36 +1000, Steven D'Aprano
<steve+comp.lang.python at> wrote:

>Seymore4Head wrote:
>> import random
>> nums=range(1,11)
>> print (nums)
>> samp=random.sample(nums,10)
>> top=nums
>> newlist=nums[::-1]
>> tail=newlist
>> for x in range(10):
>>     print ("Top {:2d}    Tail {:2.0f}  Sample {:2d}
>> ".format(top[x],tail[x],samp[x]))
>> I don't understand why the command nums=range(1,11) doesn't work.
>Of course it works. It does exactly what you told it to do: set the
>variable "nums" to the result of calling range(1, 11). The only question
>is, what does range(1, 11) do?
>> I would think that print(nums) should be 1,2,3 ect.
>> Instead it prints range(1,11)
>Did you read the documentation for range?
>py> help(range)
>class range(object)
> |  range([start,] stop[, step]) -> range object
> |
> |  Returns a virtual sequence of numbers from start to stop by step.
> [...]
>range in Python 3 does not return a list. It returns a special object which
>provides a sequence of numbers, but without actually storing them all in a
>> Why does random.sample(nums,10) give me the numbers between 1 and 10.
>What did you expect it to do? Did you read the documentation?
>py> import random
>py> help(random.sample)
>Help on method sample in module random:
>sample(self, population, k) method of random.Random instance
>    Chooses k unique random elements from a population sequence or set.
>    [...]
>    To choose a sample in a range of integers, use range as an argument.
>    This is especially fast and space efficient for sampling from a
>    large population:   sample(range(10000000), 60)
>The docs even tell you that (1) sample supports range objects, and (2) using
>range is more efficient than lists.
>> I am missing something subtle again.
>range objects behave *like* lists when you index them:
>py> nums = range(1, 100)
>py> nums[0]  # First item.
>py> nums[-1]  # Last item.
>They're even smart enough that you can take a slice, and they give you a new
>range object:
>py> nums[1:10]
>range(2, 11)
>When you iterate over them, you get each item in turn:
>py> for i in range(1, 4):
>...     print(i)
>range objects are more efficient than lists if the numbers follow the right
>sort of pattern. While a list can contain any values you like, in any
>py> nums = [1, 33, 5, 222, 4, 6, 0, 8888888, 7]
>range objects are limited to a linear sequence of:
>start, start+step, start+2*step, start+3*step, ...
>up to some end value. The reason range is more efficient is that, unlike
>lists, it doesn't need to pre-populate all the values required, it can
>calculate them on the fly when and as required. The reason why lists are
>more flexible is that the values don't have to be calculated as needed,
>they can just be stored, ready to use.

I see now

Thanks everyone

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