Sunday, 11 October 2015

get used to PROGRAMMING : Python Datatypes


When we talk about storing multiple values in a container-like data-structure, the first thing that comes to mind is a list.

You can initialize a list as

>>> arr = list()
or simply
>>> arr = []
or with a few elements as

>>> arr = [1,2,3]

Elements can be accessed easily like you do in most programming languages.

>>> print arr[0]
>>> print arr[0] + arr[1] + arr[2]

Lists in python are very versatile. If you ask what you can add in a Python List, the answer is practically anything!

In python you can create a list of any object, be it string, integers, or even lists. You can even add multiple types in a single list! Isn't that exciting?

Let's look at some of the methods you can use on List.

1) append(x) 
Adds a single element 'x' to the end of list.

>>> arr.append(9)   
>>> print arr  
[1, 2, 3, 9]

2) extend(L) 
Merges another list 'L' to the end.

>>> arr.extend([10,11])
>>> print arr
[1, 2, 3, 9, 10, 11]

3) insert (i,x) 
Inserts element 'x' at position 'i'.

>>> arr.insert(3,7)
>>> print arr
[1, 2, 3, 7, 9, 10, 11]

4) remove(x) 
Removes the first occurrence of element x.

>>> arr.remove(10)  
>>> arr  
[1, 2, 3, 7, 9, 11]

5) pop() 
Removes the last element of list. If an argument is passed, that index item is popped out.

>>> temp = arr.pop()
>>> print temp 

6) index(x) 
Returns the first index of a value in the list. Throws error if it's not found.

>>> temp = arr.index(3)
>>> print temp

7) count(x) 
Counts the number of occurrences of an element x.

>>> temp = arr.count(1)
>>> print temp

8) sort() 
Sorts the list.

>>> arr.sort()
>>> print arr
[1, 2, 3, 7, 9]

9) reverse() 
Reverses the list.

>>> arr.reverse()
>>> print arr
[9, 7, 3, 2, 1]


Tuples are a data structure just like list; the prime difference is that tuples are immutable, which means that once created, you can not modify them.

This surely restricts us in using them as we cannot add, remove, or assign values. But it gives us advantage in space and time complexities.

A cool use of tuple we do without realizing is swapping two numbers

a,b = b,a 
Here a,b is a tuple and assigns itself values of b,a.

Another awesome use of tuples is that they can be used as keys in a dictionary; in other words, tuples are hashable.

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