Can anyone recommend a good concise reference for the Python slice notation? I'm a seasoned programmer but new to Python and this notation needs a bit of picking up. It looks extremely powerful, but I haven't quite got my head round it and am looking for a good guide.
It's pretty simple really:
a[start:end] # items start through end-1 a[start:] # items start through the rest of the array a[:end] # items from the beginning through end-1 a[:] # a copy of the whole array
There is also the
step value, which can be used with any of the above:
a[start:end:step] # start through not past end, by step
The key point to remember is that the
:end value represents the first value that is not in the selected slice. So, the difference beween
start is the number of elements selected (if
step is 1, the default).
The other feature is that
end may be a negative number, which means it counts from the end of the array instead of the beginning. So:
a[-1] # last item in the array a[-2:] # last two items in the array a[:-2] # everything except the last two items
Python is kind to the programmer if there are fewer items than you ask for. For example, if you ask for
a only contains one element, you get an empty list instead of an error. Sometimes you would prefer the error, so you have to be aware that this may happen.