|Python Language Reference Manual|
by Guido van Rossum and Fred L. Drake, Jr.
Paperback (6"x9"), 120 pages
RRP £12.95 ($19.95)
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for statement is used to iterate over the elements of a
sequence (such as a string, tuple or list) or other iterable object:
The expression list is evaluated once; it should yield an iterable
object. An iterator is created for the result of the
expression_list. The suite is then executed once for each
item provided by the iterator, in the
order of ascending indices. Each item in turn is assigned to the
target list using the standard rules for assignments, and then the
suite is executed. When the items are exhausted (which is immediately
when the sequence is empty), the suite in the
else clause, if
present, is executed, and the loop terminates.
break statement executed in the first suite terminates the
loop without executing the suite of the
else clause. A
continue statement executed in the first suite skips the rest
of the suite and continues with the next item, or with the
clause if there was no next item.
The suite may assign to the variable(s) in the target list; this does not affect the next item assigned to it.
The target list is not deleted when the loop is finished, but if the
sequence is empty, it will not have been assigned to at all by the
loop. Hint: the built-in function
range() returns a
sequence of integers suitable to emulate the effect of Pascal's
for i := a to b do;
range(3) returns the list
[0, 1, 2].
There is a subtlety when the sequence is being modified by the loop (this can only occur for mutable sequences, i.e. lists). An internal counter is used to keep track of which item is used next, and this is incremented on each iteration. When this counter has reached the length of the sequence the loop terminates. This means that if the suite deletes the current (or a previous) item from the sequence, the next item will be skipped (since it gets the index of the current item which has already been treated). Likewise, if the suite inserts an item in the sequence before the current item, the current item will be treated again the next time through the loop. This can lead to nasty bugs that can be avoided by making a temporary copy using a slice of the whole sequence, e.g.,
for x in a[:]: if x < 0: a.remove(x)
|ISBN 0954161785||Python Language Reference Manual||See the print edition|