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For 2021 - online Python 3 training - see ((here)).

Our plans were to retire in summer 2020 and see the world, but Coronavirus has lead us into a lot of lockdown programming in Python 3 and PHP 7.
We can now offer tailored online training - small groups, real tutors - works really well for groups of 4 to 14 delegates. Anywhere in the world; course language English.

Please ask about private 'maintenance' training for Python 2, Tcl, Perl, PHP, Lua, etc.
Exception, Lambda, Generator, Slice, Dict - examples in one Python program

A new example from last week's Python course, showing exception, lambda, generator and list slices in a practical programming example. The task we took was to go through a file of railway stations and ticket sales figures, and report on the most and least used 20 in the UK. The programs's [here].

a) The open statement - when used within a for loop structure returns a generator object in modern versions of Python, and that means that we can loop through the data without reading it ahead into a list as simply as
  for record in open("railstats.xyz"):

b) Most data rows within the file contain numbers in the last field of each line, but a few of them (stations that were not open during the last year of data collection) contain the word NULL. I've caught exceptions to trap these lines, simply passing the error over as these are special cases outside the scope of my application

c) I need to sort the dict that I've built ... but a dict can't be sorted. So I've extracted a list of keys and sorted that list. The sorting's going to be based on the contents of the original dict, so I need to provide a sort routine that I've done in the form of a lambda - that's rather like a oneline function with no name. Quicker to code, easy to read inline:
  places = usage.keys()
  places.sort(lambda x,y: usage[x] - usage[y])

d) I've picked our the first 20, and the last 20, records after sorting using list slices. Note the subtle syntax difference at the start and end of the list.
  for place in places[:20]:
  for place in places[-20:]:

There are lots of examples on our web site and in our course notes showing each of these features ... but the exmaple that I've referred to here shows interaction between them.
(written 2013-03-04)

 
Associated topics are indexed as below, or enter http://melksh.am/nnnn for individual articles
Y109 - Python - Exceptions
  [381] Exceptions in Python - (2005-07-17)
  [1042] Nested exceptions in Python - (2007-01-18)
  [1236] Trying things in Python - (2007-06-18)
  [2018] UnboundLocalError - Python Message - (2009-01-31)
  [2281] Python - using exceptions to set a fallback - (2009-07-12)
  [2368] Python - fresh examples of all the fundamentals - (2009-08-20)
  [2408] Robust user input (exception handling) example in Python - (2009-09-17)
  [2622] Handling unusual and error conditions - exceptions - (2010-02-03)
  [2994] Python - some common questions answered in code examples - (2010-10-10)
  [2998] Using an exception to initialise a static variable in a Python function / method - (2010-10-13)
  [3177] Insurance against any errors - Volcanoes and Python - (2011-02-19)
  [3433] Exceptions - a fail-safe way of trapping things that may go wrong - (2011-09-11)
  [3441] Pressing ^C in a Python program. Also Progress Bar. - (2011-09-15)
  [3664] Error checking in a Python program - making your program robust via exceptions - (2012-03-22)
  [3913] How many times ... has this loco headed west through Tenby? - Python exceptions - (2012-11-05)
  [3930] Reporting the full stack trace when you catch a Python exception - (2012-11-22)
  [4161] Python varables - checking existance, and call by name or by value? - (2013-08-27)
  [4444] Elements of an exception in Python - try, except, else, finally - (2015-02-28)

Y107 - Python - Dictionaries
  [103] Can't resist writing about Python - (2004-10-29)
  [955] Python collections - mutable and imutable - (2006-11-29)
  [1144] Python dictionary for quick look ups - (2007-04-12)
  [1145] Using a list of keys and a list of values to make a dictionary in Python - zip - (2007-04-13)
  [2915] Looking up a value by key - associative arrays / Hashes / Dictionaries - (2010-08-11)
  [2986] Python dictionaries - reaching to new uses - (2010-10-05)
  [3464] Passing optional and named parameters to python methods - (2011-10-04)
  [3488] Python sets and frozensets - what are they? - (2011-10-20)
  [3554] Learning more about our web site - and learning how to learn about yours - (2011-12-17)
  [3555] Football league tables - under old and new point system. Python program. - (2011-12-18)
  [3662] Finding all the unique lines in a file, using Python or Perl - (2012-03-20)
  [3934] Multiple identical keys in a Python dict - yes, you can! - (2012-11-24)
  [4027] Collections in Python - list tuple dict and string. - (2013-03-04)
  [4409] Setting up and using a dict in Python - simple first example - (2015-01-30)
  [4469] Sorting in Python 3 - and how it differs from Python 2 sorting - (2015-04-20)
  [4661] Unique word locator - Python dict example - (2016-03-06)
  [4668] Sorting a dict in Python - (2016-04-01)

Y105 - Python - Functions, Modules and Packages
  [96] Variable Scope - (2004-10-22)
  [105] Distance Learning - (2004-10-31)
  [294] Python generator functions, lambdas, and iterators - (2005-04-28)
  [303] Lambdas in Python - (2005-05-06)
  [308] Call by name v call by value - (2005-05-11)
  [340] Code and code maintainance efficiency - (2005-06-08)
  [386] What is a callback? - (2005-07-22)
  [418] Difference between import and from in Python - (2005-08-18)
  [561] Python's Generator functions - (2006-01-11)
  [668] Python - block insets help with documentation - (2006-04-04)
  [745] Python modules. The distribution, The Cheese Shop and the Vaults of Parnassus. - (2006-06-05)
  [749] Cottage industry or production line data handling methods - (2006-06-07)
  [775] Do not duplicate your code - (2006-06-23)
  [821] Dynamic functions and names - Python - (2006-08-03)
  [900] Python - function v method - (2006-10-20)
  [912] Recursion in Python - (2006-11-02)
  [913] Python - A list of methods - (2006-11-03)
  [949] Sludge off the mountain, and Python and PHP - (2006-11-27)
  [959] It's the 1st, not the 1nd 1rd or 1th. - (2006-12-01)
  [1134] Function / method parameters with * and ** in Python - (2007-04-04)
  [1163] A better alternative to cutting and pasting code - (2007-04-26)
  [1202] Returning multiple values from a function (Perl, PHP, Python) - (2007-05-24)
  [1464] Python Script - easy examples of lots of basics - (2007-12-08)
  [1784] Global - Tcl, PHP, Python - (2008-09-03)
  [1790] Sharing variables with functions, but keeping them local too - Python - (2008-09-09)
  [1869] Anonymous functions (lambdas) and map in Python - (2008-11-04)
  [1870] What to do with a huge crop of apples - (2008-11-04)
  [1871] Optional and named parameters in Python - (2008-11-05)
  [1879] Dynamic code - Python - (2008-11-11)
  [2011] Conversion of OSI grid references to Eastings and Northings - (2009-01-28)
  [2439] Multiple returns from a function in Python - (2009-10-06)
  [2440] Optional parameters to Python functions - (2009-10-07)
  [2481] Sample code with errors in it on our web site - (2009-10-29)
  [2506] Good example of recursion in Python - analyse an RSS feed - (2009-11-18)
  [2520] Global and Enable - two misused words! - (2009-11-30)
  [2718] Python - access to variables in the outer scope - (2010-04-12)
  [2766] Optional and named parameters to Python functions/methods - (2010-05-15)
  [2878] Program for reliability and efficiency - do not duplicate, but rather share and re-use - (2010-07-19)
  [2929] Passing a variable number of parameters in to a function / method - (2010-08-20)
  [3159] Returning multiple values from a function call in various languages - a comparison - (2011-02-06)
  [3280] Passing parameters to Python functions - the options you have - (2011-05-07)
  [3459] Catching the fishes first? - (2011-09-27)
  [3472] Static variables in functions - and better ways using objects - (2011-10-10)
  [3474] Python Packages - groupings of modules. An introduction - (2011-10-11)
  [3695] Functions are first class variables in Lua and Python - (2012-04-13)
  [3766] Python timing - when to use a list, and when to use a generator - (2012-06-16)
  [3852] Static variables in Python? - (2012-08-29)
  [3885] Default local - a good choice by the author of Python - (2012-10-08)
  [3931] Optional positional and named parameters in Python - (2012-11-23)
  [3945] vargs in Python - how to call a method with unknown number of parameters - (2012-12-06)
  [4212] Python functions - an introduction to how they work - (2013-11-16)
  [4361] Multiple yields and no loops in a Python generator? - (2014-12-22)
  [4407] Python - even named code blocks are objects - (2015-01-28)
  [4410] A good example of recursion - a real use in Python - (2015-02-01)
  [4441] Reading command line parameters in Python - (2015-02-23)
  [4448] What is the difference between a function and a method? - (2015-03-04)
  [4645] What are callbacks? Why use them? An example in Python - (2016-02-11)
  [4662] Recursion in Python - the classic example - (2016-03-07)
  [4719] Nesting decorators - (2016-11-02)
  [4722] Embedding more complex code into a named block - (2016-11-04)
  [4724] From and Import in Python - where is the module loaded from? - (2016-11-06)


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