[Tutor] Question about order in a dictionary

Brian van den Broek bvande at po-box.mcgill.ca
Mon Jun 28 10:12:47 EDT 2004

Danny Yoo said unto the world upon 28/06/2004 05:08:


> That is, we deliberately sacrifice an ordering.  It seems harsh, but in
> return, Python guarantees that if we ask for a specific key from a
> dictionary, we'll be able to get its corresponding value very very
> quickly.  It becomes a snap for Python to give us:
>     D['a']
> almost immediately, because of technical details about how dictionaries
> are implemented as "hashtables", a data structure from computer science.
> We can talk about hashtables later, if you'd like.


Hi all,

I'm comfortable with mathematics, but not a computer scientist by any 
means. I've been wanting to learn about the details of hashtables (meaning 
of the term, how implemented, why allowing for faster search, etc.). Does 
anyone know of a good presentation that gets the details covered 
correctly, but doesn't presuppose that I am at least halfway through a 
comp sci BSc?

(I'm not asking someone to wade through google results pages; if that 
needs to be done I can do my own searching ;-) Rather, I wonder if anyone 
already knows of a good resource to recommend.)

Best to all,

Brian vdB

PS Since it is my first post to any of the lists since they all went funny 
last week, thanks to those who worked/are working to heal the python.org 
mailing list server. I'm very glad things seem back to normal at least as 
far as I can tell.

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