[Tutor] Problem with multiple input

Alan Gauld alan.gauld at btinternet.com
Wed Jul 29 05:51:00 CEST 2009

"pja" <peterjohnanderson at gmail.com> wrote

> One major problem is that the book is written for Python 2.x and I am 
> using Python 3.1 (and don't want to switch back).

Very few books/tutorials exist yet for v3. But you seem to be
coping with the differences adequately. My tutorial for v3 is
almost half-way complete, you might find it useful as a secondary


def main():
     # Introduction
     print("This program calculates the sum and difference of two 
     # number1 = float(input("Enter the first number: "))
     # number2 = float(input("Enter the second number: "))
     number1, number2 = (input("Please enter two numbers: ").split())
     number1, number2 = float(number1), float(number2)

>   The example code works but I don't think it is either optimum or 
> elegant.  Could someone help me with the "correct" Python way of doing

That loooks OK although its a little bit unusual to request two input
values on one line - just because of the difficulty of parsing the result.
Its hard enough to get users to input correct values one at a time!
Never mind formatting two values... as you discovered:

> Also the working code only woks with input numbers that are separated by 
> a space.  How would I do this with numbers that are separated by a comma?

However you can pass a string to split() that will split the line on
any of the characters in the string. So in your case you could
request a split using spaces and commas - and I suggest adding
semi colons and tabs too?

     number1, number2 = (input("Please enter two numbers: ").split(" 


Alan Gauld
Author of the Learn to Program web site

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