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An Introduction to Python
by Guido van Rossum and Fred L. Drake, Jr.
Paperback (6"x9"), 124 pages
ISBN 0954161769
RRP £12.95 ($19.95)

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10.10 Performance Measurement

Some Python users develop a deep interest in knowing the relative performance of different approaches to the same problem. Python provides a measurement tool that answers those questions immediately.

For example, it may be tempting to use the tuple packing and unpacking feature instead of the traditional approach to swapping arguments. The ‘timeit’ module quickly demonstrates a modest performance advantage:

    >>> from timeit import Timer
    >>> Timer('t=a; a=b; b=t', 'a=1; b=2').timeit()
    0.57535828626024577
    >>> Timer('a,b = b,a', 'a=1; b=2').timeit()
    0.54962537085770791

In contrast to ‘timeit’'s fine level of granularity, the ‘profile’ and ‘pstats’ modules provide tools for identifying time critical sections in larger blocks of code.

ISBN 0954161769An Introduction to PythonSee the print edition