Programming:Python/Tips

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My notes on Python

Module Structure and Layout

From Core Python Programming , 2E (3.4.1)

  1. Startup line (Unix)
  2. module documentation
  3. module imports
  4. variable declarations (Global)
  5. class declarations
  6. function declarations
  7. "main" body

Generating GUIDs

  import uuid
  uuid.uuid4()

Functions

Default Arguments

Evaluated only once

From the official Python documentation:

Important warning: The default value is evaluated only once. This makes a difference when the default is a mutable object such as a list, dictionary, or instances of most classes. For example, the following function accumulates the arguments passed to it on subsequent calls:


def f(a, L=[]):
    L.append(a)
    return L
 
print f(1)
print f(2)
print f(3)

This will print:

[1]
[1, 2]
[1, 2, 3]

If you don’t want the default to be shared between subsequent calls, you can write the function like this instead:

def f(a, L=None):
    if L is None:
        L = []
    L.append(a)
    return L

Mutable defaults trap

From: Python Gotchas, Mutable defaults for function/method arguments

You should never, never, NEVER use a list or a dictionary as a default value for an argument to a class method. Unless, of course, you really, really, REALLY know what you're doing