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We Don't Need Another Hero - Python

Find out more about adding flow control to your Python programswith the "for" and "while" loops, see how the range() function can be usedto generate number ranges, and learn all about list objects. And bring anold flame along for the ride.

  1. Python 101 (part 3): A Twist In The Tail
  2. Here Comes A Hero
  3. Making Friends And Influencing People
  4. We Don't Need Another Hero
  5. Looping The Loop
  6. Twist And Turn
  7. Within Range()
  8. Just Passin' Through
By: Vikram Vaswani, (c) Melonfire
Rating: starstarstarstarstar / 4
June 13, 2001

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Unlike strings, lists are "mutable", which means that the elementscontained within a list can be changed at will. For example, any listelement can be altered simply by assigning a new value to it via its index.

>>> superheroes ['Spiderman', 'Superman', 'Human Torch', 'Batman'] >>> superheroes[3] = "Captain America" >>> superheroes ['Spiderman', 'Superman', 'Human Torch', 'Captain America'] >>>
You can alter more than one value at a time by using list slices.

>>> superheroes ['Spiderman', 'Superman', 'Human Torch', 'Captain America'] >>> superheroes[0:2] = ["Incredible Hulk", "Green Lantern"] >>> superheroes ['Incredible Hulk', 'Green Lantern', 'Human Torch', 'Captain America'] >>>
The built-in append() method makes it easy to add items to a list,

>>> superheroes ['Incredible Hulk', 'Green Lantern', 'Human Torch', 'Captain America'] >>> superheroes.append("Spawn") >>> superheroes ['Incredible Hulk', 'Green Lantern', 'Human Torch', 'Captain America', 'Spawn'] >>>
while the del() method makes it just as easy to remove them.

>>> superheroes ['Incredible Hulk', 'Green Lantern', 'Human Torch', 'Captain America', 'Spawn'] >>> del superheroes[4] >>> superheroes ['Incredible Hulk', 'Green Lantern', 'Human Torch', 'Captain America'] >>> del superheroes[0:2] >>> superheroes ['Human Torch', 'Captain America'] >>>
Note that there's also a remove() method, which allows you to remove anelement by value rather than index.

>>> superheroes ['Incredible Hulk', 'Green Lantern', 'Human Torch', 'Captain America'] >>> superheroes.remove("Green Lantern") >>> superheroes.remove("Captain America") >>> superheroes ['Incredible Hulk', 'Human Torch'] >>>
Finally, the sort() and reverse() methods allow you to rearrange thecontents of a list.

>>> oldFlames ['Jennifer', 'Susan', 'Tina', 'Bozo The Clown'] >>> oldFlames.sort() >>> oldFlames ['Bozo The Clown', 'Jennifer', 'Susan', 'Tina'] >>> oldFlames.reverse() >>> oldFlames ['Tina', 'Susan', 'Jennifer', 'Bozo The Clown'] >>>
A number of other list methods are also available - take a look at thePython Library Reference at http://www.python.org/doc/current/lib/lib.htmlfor more information and examples.

Let's move on to loops.

>>> More Python Articles          >>> More By Vikram Vaswani, (c) Melonfire

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