What are the must know features of python programming language

- - Python

List comprehensions

One of the major features of python is list comprehension. It is a natural way of creating a new list where each element is the result of some operations applied to each member of another sequence of an iterable. The construct of a list comprehension is such that it consists of brackets containing an expression followed by a for clause then by zero or more for or if clause. List comprehensions always returns a list.

Simple example

squares = [x**2 for x in range(10)]

In a rather real usage scenarios, the expression after the bracket ‘[‘ is a call to a method/function.

some_list = [function_name(x) for x in some_iterable]


Before learning about generators, it is important and essential to understand what an iterable is. Putting it simple, an iterable is an object that can be looped over. Therefore, a list, string, dictionary, file, etc are iterable objects.

A generator is something that simplifies creating iterators. More specifically, a generator is a function that produces a sequence of results instead of a single value.

When a generator function is called, it returns a generator object without even beginning execution of the called function. Now when the next method is called for the first time, the function starts executing until it reaches yeild statement. Hence yeilded value is returned by the next call.

Sample Example

def gen_example():
    print “Begining of the function”
    for i in range(5):
        print “before yeild”
        yield I
        print “after yeild” 
    print “End of the function”

Generators Expressions

It is the generator version of list comprehension. Everything is same as the list comprehension except that it returns a generator.

Sample Example

squares = (x**2 for x in range(5))


A docstring is a string literal that occurs as the first statement in a module, function, class, or method definition. Such a docstring becomes the __doc__ special attribute of that object. In fact, every module should have a docstring. Additionally all the functions and classes exported by a module should have a docstrings. Also, the public methods including constructor should also have docstrings.

Sample Example

def sum_elements(elements):
    “““Returns the sum of elements of the passed list”””
    return sum(elements)

*args and **kwargs

*args and *kwargs allow you to pass a variable number of arguments to a function. It is not know before hand about how many arguments can be passed to your function.

*args is used to send a non-keyworded variable length argument list to the function.

def func_with_args(*argv):
    for arg in argv:
        print arg

func_with_args('gopal', 'ramesh', 'paresh')

The above code produces the result as follows:




On the other hand, **kwargs allows you to pass keyworded variable length of arguments to a function. Below is a basic example

def  func_with_kwargs(**kwargs):
    if kwargs is not None:
        for key, value in kwargs.iteritems():
            print “%s == %s” %(key, value)

func_with_kwargs(customer= “Gopal”, salesman = “Ramesh”)

Following is the output of the above code:

customer == Gopal

salesman == Ramesh

This is an open-ended article. Please comment below about the features you think should not be missed. Thanks for reading.


I am Bhishan Bhandari. Currently I work as a Research Engineer at UXCam. Follow me on github for code updates Github You can always communicate your thoughts/wishes/questions to me at bbhishan@gmail.com

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