collection of some useful shortcuts

The following are just a collection of some useful shortcuts and tools I’ve found in Python over the years. Hopefully you find them helpful.

Swapping Variables

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x = 6
y = 5
x, y = y, x

print x
>>> 5
print y
>>> 6

Inline if Statement

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print "Hello" if True else "World"
>>> Hello

Concatenations

The last one is a pretty cool way to combine objects of two different types.

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nfc = ["Packers", "49ers"]
afc = ["Ravens", "Patriots"]
print nfc + afc
>>> ['Packers', '49ers', 'Ravens', 'Patriots']

 

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print str(1) + " world"
>>> 1 world

 

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print `1` + " world"
>>> 1 world

 

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print 1, "world"
>>> 1 world

 

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print nfc, 1
>>> ['Packers', '49ers'] 1

Number Tricks

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#Floor Division (rounds down)
print 5.0//2
>>> 2

 

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#2 raised to the 5th power
print 2**5
>> 32

Be careful with division and floating point numbers.

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print .3/.1
>>> 2.9999999999999996

print .3//.1
>>> 2.0

Numerical Comparison
This is a pretty cool shortcut that I haven’t seen in too many languages.

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x = 2

if 3 > x > 1:
    print x
>>> 2

if 1 < x > 0:
    print x
>>> 2

Iterate Through Two Lists at the Same Time

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nfc = ["Packers", "49ers"]
afc = ["Ravens", "Patriots"]

for teama, teamb in zip(nfc, afc):
    print teama + " vs. " + teamb

>>> Packers vs. Ravens
>>> 49ers vs. Patriots

Iterate Through List With an Index

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teams = ["Packers", "49ers", "Ravens", "Patriots"]
for index, team in enumerate(teams):
    print index, team

>>> 0 Packers
>>> 1 49ers
>>> 2 Ravens
>>> 3 Patriots

List Comprehension

With a list comprehension we can turn this:

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numbers = [1,2,3,4,5,6]
even = []
for number in numbers:
    if number%2 == 0:
        even.append(number)

Into this:

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numbers = [1,2,3,4,5,6]
even = [number for number in numbers if number%2 == 0]

Pretty sweet huh?

Dictionary Comprehension

Similar to the list comprehension we can also do a dictionary comprehension like this:

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teams = ["Packers", "49ers", "Ravens", "Patriots"]
print {key: value for value, key in enumerate(teams)}
>>> {'49ers': 1, 'Ravens': 2, 'Patriots': 3, 'Packers': 0}

Initialize List Values

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items = [0]*3
print items
>>> [0,0,0]

Converting a List to a String

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teams = ["Packers", "49ers", "Ravens", "Patriots"]
print ", ".join(teams)
>>> 'Packers, 49ers, Ravens, Patriots'

Get Item From Dictionary

I’ll admit that try/except code doesn’t look the prettiest. Here’s a simple way to fix that with dictionaries. This will try to find the key in the dictionary and if it can’t be found it will set the variable to the second parameter.
Instead of:

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data = {'user': 1, 'name': 'Max', 'three': 4}
try:
    is_admin = data['admin']
except KeyError:
    is_admin = False

Do this:

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data = {'user': 1, 'name': 'Max', 'three': 4}
is_admin = data.get('admin', False)

Taking a Subset of a List

Sometimes you only want to run code over a portion of a list. Here are a few ways you can get the subset of a list.

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x = [1,2,3,4,5,6]

#First 3
print x[:3]
>>> [1,2,3]

#Middle 4
print x[1:5]
>>> [2,3,4,5]

#Last 3
print x[-3:]
>>> [4,5,6]

#Odd numbers
print x[::2]
>>> [1,3,5]

#Even numbers
print x[1::2]
>>> [2,4,6]

FizzBuzz in 60 Characters

Here’s a short, fun way to solve the problem.

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for x in range(1,101):print"Fizz"[x%3*4:]+"Buzz"[x%5*4:]or x

Collections

In addition to python’s built in datatypes they also include a few extra for special use cases in the collections module.

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from collections import Counter

print Counter("hello")
>>> Counter({'l': 2, 'h': 1, 'e': 1, 'o': 1})

Itertools

Along with the collections library python also has a library calleditertoolswhich has really cool efficient solutions to problems.

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from itertools import combinations

teams = ["Packers", "49ers", "Ravens", "Patriots"]
for game in combinations(teams, 2):
    print game

>>> ('Packers', '49ers')
>>> ('Packers', 'Ravens')
>>> ('Packers', 'Patriots')
>>> ('49ers', 'Ravens')
>>> ('49ers', 'Patriots')
>>> ('Ravens', 'Patriots')

False == True

This is more of a fun one than a useful technique. In python True and False are basically just global variables. Thus:

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False = True
if False:
    print "Hello"
else:
    print "World"

>>> Hello

 

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