Scratchpad – Learning Python

Here are some reference notes I made for myself while learning Python –
hope it is useful for you 🙂

1) General

1.1) Getting User Input

nickname = raw_input("what is your nickname? ")

1.2) Comments

#Single line comment
""" multiline

1.3) Exponential

sixty_four = 8 ** 2

1.4) Useful Utility Functions

len(variable) #returns the length of variable, usually used for Lists
str(variable) #return string version of variable, usually for integers, float, etc

Works on all data types

1.5) Pass Placeholder Statement

A placeholder statement for areas when a statement/code block is required, but not ready. Nothing happens when it is executed, which is also useful for stubs/work in progress.

class MyClass():
# Refer to section below for details on classes

1.6) Printing on Same Line

print "one",
print "two"
#output: one two

2) Strings

2.1) String Indexing

secondLetter = "luppeng"[1]
#output: u

2.2) String Functions

name = ""
print name.isalpha() # test if string consists of letters only
print name.upper()   # returns the string with all upper case characters
print name.lower()   # returns the string with all lower case characters

Works only on Strings

2.3) Variable Substitution in Strings

print "Variable value is %s" % variable
print "Variable values are %s and %s" % (variable1,variable2)

Just like printf in C

3) Date/Time

from datetime import datetime
now =
print now.year,now.month,,now.hour,now.minute,now.second

4) Operators Precedence

Descending order: (), not, and, or

5) Conditional Statements

if [elif] else

6) Modules

6.1) Print all functions in module

import moduleName
allFunctions = dir(moduleName)
print allFunctions

6.2) Importing Modules

Less Desirable

from math import *
print str(floor(4.2)) 
#output: 4.0

– Lots of unnecessary variables and functions within application now
– conflict of functions (when two modules have same function name)
– No idea which module a function comes from (accidental dependency removal)

Preferred Methods

import math
print str(math.floor(4.2)) 
#output: 4.0
from math import floor
print str(floor(4.2)) 
#output: 4.0

7) Lists

7.1) List Creation

myList = [...]
multiplesOfThree= [ x for x in range (1,100) if x % 3 == 0]
                 (value)      (range)         (condition)

7.2) List Utility Functions

itemIndex = myList.index("item")

7.3) List Traversal

for item in list:
    #do stuff (not possible to modify the list this way)
for i in range(0, len(myList)):
    #do stuff (can modify the list because we have the index)
#Reverse List Traversal
myList = [...]
print myList[::-1]

7.4) List Manipulation

myList.insert(someIndex, newItem) # the item occupies the index provided. Everything else pushed down by 1 index
del(myList[index]) # like pop() but does not return anything

7.5) Lists Joining

a = ["a1","a2"]
b = ["b1","b2","b3"]
print a + b 
#Output: ["a1","a2","b1","b2","b3"]
b = ["b1","b2","b3"]
print "-".join(b)
#Output: b1-b2-b3

7.6) List slicing

default values: [0:len(list):1]

8) Dictionary (key-value pairs)

8.1) Dictionary Creation

menu = {"key1":"value1","key2":"value2",...}

8.2) Dictionary Utility Functions

menu["key1"] = "newValue1" #Updating new value for key
del menu[key_name]

8.3) Traversing Dictionary

for key in myDictionary:
    print myDictionary[key] #print all values as it iterates through the key

8.4) Accessing Dictionary

print my_dict.items() --> returns array of tuples, with each tuple being a k/v pair
my_dict.keys() --> returns all keys
my_dict.values() --> returns all values

9) RANGE()

A useful shortcut to generate a list
Synatx: range([start],stop,[step])
Default values:
– start = 0
– step = 1

range(10)     #[0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9]
range(4,10)   #[4,5,6,7,8,9]
range(4,10,2) #[4,6,8]

10) Loops

10.1) while/else

Similar to if/else, but the else code block will execute when the loop condition is false. Else block will not execute if the loop exits via a break

10.2) for/else

Same as while/else

10.3) Looping List with Enumerate

Pass the enumerate function a list, and it will return an index (starting from 0) and the corresponding list item at the given index.

for element in enumerate(theList):
    print element

#(0, 'c1')
#(1, 'c2')
#(2, 'c3')
#(3, 'c4')
for index,element in enumerate(theList):
    print str(index) + " -- " + element

#0 -- c1
#1 -- c2
#2 -- c3
#3 -- c4

10.4) Looping Multiple Lists

“zip”, an built-in Python function, creates tuples of elements at the same index across the lists it was passed as parameters. The zip function is constrained by the shortest list length

listA = [1,2,3,4,5]
listB = [6,7,8,9]
for tuple in zip(listA, listB):
    print tuple

#(1, 6)
#(2, 7)
#(3, 8)
#(4, 9)
listA = [1,2,3,4,5]
listB = [6,7,8,9]
for a,b in zip(listA, listB):
    print max(a,b)


11) FILE I/O

11.1) Open a File in “rw” Mode

my_file = open("filename","r+")
print OR . my_file.readline()
with open(text.txt, w) as textfile

Using with/as will invoke file object’s built in __enter__() and __exit__() methods, which calls the open() and close() functions

12) Functional Programming

12.1) Anonymous Functions

The following two code samples are similar:

lambda x: x%3 == 0
def by_three(x):
    return x%3==0
#return x if condition is true

Examples – return x if the value is == “PythonLanguage”

lambda x : x == "PythonLanguage"

12.2) filter function

filter (condition to return the value, input list)

13) Bitwise Operators

13.1) Operators

>> right shift
<< left shift
& bitwise AND
| bitwise OR
^ bitwise XOR (bit flipper)

#Left Shift 5 times 
newShiftVariable = shiftVariable << 5

13.2) Binary Number Representation

0b1010 –> decimal 9

13.3) Utility Functions for Bitwise Operations

bin(string) – returns binary representation of the string input
oct(string) – Octal representation
hex(string) – Hexadecimal representation
int(string,[base]) – integer representation, optional second parameter as input’s base

int("0b1010", 2)

14) Classes

14.1) Class Definition Syntax

class ClassName(InheritedClass):
    def __init__(self, a, b, ..): #first keyword is used to reference itself. python convention uses the word "self"
        self.a = a
        self.b = b

    def otherMethods(self, ...):

14.2) Superclass

class SportsUtilityVehicle(Vehicle):
    def turboAccelerate(self, param):
        return super(DerivedClass, self).accelerate(param)

14.3) Good Method to Override


Similar to java’s toString() method

End of scratchpad (or is it scratchpost?)


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