[Tutor] A question about how python handles numbers larger than it's 32 bit limit

Adam Bark adam.jtm30 at gmail.com
Tue Sep 23 17:24:48 CEST 2008

2008/9/23 John Toliver <john.toliver at gmail.com>

> Greetings,
> The book I have says when you anticipate that you will be working with
> numbers larger than what python can handle, you place an "L" after the
> number to signal python to treat it as a large number.  Does this
> "treating" of the number only mean that Python won't try to represent
> the number internally as a 32bit integer?  Python still appears to be
> representing the number only with an L behind it so what is happening to
> the number then.  Is the L behind the number telling python to handle
> this large number in HEX instead which would fit into the 32 bit limit?
> thanks in advance,
> John T

The L stands for long integer and means that it will usually use twice the
space of a regular integer so in this case 64bits.
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