How to get the PATH environment-variable separator in Python?

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When multiple directories need to be concatenated, as in an executable search path, there is an os-dependent separator character. For Windows it"s ";", for Linux it"s ":". Is there a way in Python to get which character to split on?

In the discussions to this question How do I find out my python path using python? , it is suggested that os.sep will do it. That answer is wrong, since it is the separator for components of a directory or filename and equates to "" or "/".

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How to get the PATH environment-variable separator in Python? find: Questions

Finding the index of an item in a list

5 answers

Given a list ["foo", "bar", "baz"] and an item in the list "bar", how do I get its index (1) in Python?

3740

Answer #1

>>> ["foo", "bar", "baz"].index("bar")
1

Reference: Data Structures > More on Lists

Caveats follow

Note that while this is perhaps the cleanest way to answer the question as asked, index is a rather weak component of the list API, and I can"t remember the last time I used it in anger. It"s been pointed out to me in the comments that because this answer is heavily referenced, it should be made more complete. Some caveats about list.index follow. It is probably worth initially taking a look at the documentation for it:

list.index(x[, start[, end]])

Return zero-based index in the list of the first item whose value is equal to x. Raises a ValueError if there is no such item.

The optional arguments start and end are interpreted as in the slice notation and are used to limit the search to a particular subsequence of the list. The returned index is computed relative to the beginning of the full sequence rather than the start argument.

Linear time-complexity in list length

An index call checks every element of the list in order, until it finds a match. If your list is long, and you don"t know roughly where in the list it occurs, this search could become a bottleneck. In that case, you should consider a different data structure. Note that if you know roughly where to find the match, you can give index a hint. For instance, in this snippet, l.index(999_999, 999_990, 1_000_000) is roughly five orders of magnitude faster than straight l.index(999_999), because the former only has to search 10 entries, while the latter searches a million:

>>> import timeit
>>> timeit.timeit("l.index(999_999)", setup="l = list(range(0, 1_000_000))", number=1000)
9.356267921015387
>>> timeit.timeit("l.index(999_999, 999_990, 1_000_000)", setup="l = list(range(0, 1_000_000))", number=1000)
0.0004404920036904514
 

Only returns the index of the first match to its argument

A call to index searches through the list in order until it finds a match, and stops there. If you expect to need indices of more matches, you should use a list comprehension, or generator expression.

>>> [1, 1].index(1)
0
>>> [i for i, e in enumerate([1, 2, 1]) if e == 1]
[0, 2]
>>> g = (i for i, e in enumerate([1, 2, 1]) if e == 1)
>>> next(g)
0
>>> next(g)
2

Most places where I once would have used index, I now use a list comprehension or generator expression because they"re more generalizable. So if you"re considering reaching for index, take a look at these excellent Python features.

Throws if element not present in list

A call to index results in a ValueError if the item"s not present.

>>> [1, 1].index(2)
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "<stdin>", line 1, in <module>
ValueError: 2 is not in list

If the item might not be present in the list, you should either

  1. Check for it first with item in my_list (clean, readable approach), or
  2. Wrap the index call in a try/except block which catches ValueError (probably faster, at least when the list to search is long, and the item is usually present.)

3740

Answer #2

One thing that is really helpful in learning Python is to use the interactive help function:

>>> help(["foo", "bar", "baz"])
Help on list object:

class list(object)
 ...

 |
 |  index(...)
 |      L.index(value, [start, [stop]]) -> integer -- return first index of value
 |

which will often lead you to the method you are looking for.

3740

Answer #3

The majority of answers explain how to find a single index, but their methods do not return multiple indexes if the item is in the list multiple times. Use enumerate():

for i, j in enumerate(["foo", "bar", "baz"]):
    if j == "bar":
        print(i)

The index() function only returns the first occurrence, while enumerate() returns all occurrences.

As a list comprehension:

[i for i, j in enumerate(["foo", "bar", "baz"]) if j == "bar"]

Here"s also another small solution with itertools.count() (which is pretty much the same approach as enumerate):

from itertools import izip as zip, count # izip for maximum efficiency
[i for i, j in zip(count(), ["foo", "bar", "baz"]) if j == "bar"]

This is more efficient for larger lists than using enumerate():

$ python -m timeit -s "from itertools import izip as zip, count" "[i for i, j in zip(count(), ["foo", "bar", "baz"]*500) if j == "bar"]"
10000 loops, best of 3: 174 usec per loop
$ python -m timeit "[i for i, j in enumerate(["foo", "bar", "baz"]*500) if j == "bar"]"
10000 loops, best of 3: 196 usec per loop

sep

How to print number with commas as thousands separators?

5 answers

I am trying to print an integer in Python 2.6.1 with commas as thousands separators. For example, I want to show the number 1234567 as 1,234,567. How would I go about doing this? I have seen many examples on Google, but I am looking for the simplest practical way.

It does not need to be locale-specific to decide between periods and commas. I would prefer something as simple as reasonably possible.

929

Answer #1

Locale unaware

"{:,}".format(value)  # For Python ‚â•2.7
f"{value:,}"  # For Python ‚â•3.6

Locale aware

import locale
locale.setlocale(locale.LC_ALL, "")  # Use "" for auto, or force e.g. to "en_US.UTF-8"

"{:n}".format(value)  # For Python ‚â•2.7
f"{value:n}"  # For Python ‚â•3.6

Reference

Per Format Specification Mini-Language,

The "," option signals the use of a comma for a thousands separator. For a locale aware separator, use the "n" integer presentation type instead.

929

Answer #2

I got this to work:

>>> import locale
>>> locale.setlocale(locale.LC_ALL, "en_US")
"en_US"
>>> locale.format("%d", 1255000, grouping=True)
"1,255,000"

Sure, you don"t need internationalization support, but it"s clear, concise, and uses a built-in library.

P.S. That "%d" is the usual %-style formatter. You can have only one formatter, but it can be whatever you need in terms of field width and precision settings.

P.P.S. If you can"t get locale to work, I"d suggest a modified version of Mark"s answer:

def intWithCommas(x):
    if type(x) not in [type(0), type(0L)]:
        raise TypeError("Parameter must be an integer.")
    if x < 0:
        return "-" + intWithCommas(-x)
    result = ""
    while x >= 1000:
        x, r = divmod(x, 1000)
        result = ",%03d%s" % (r, result)
    return "%d%s" % (x, result)

Recursion is useful for the negative case, but one recursion per comma seems a bit excessive to me.

sep

How would you make a comma-separated string from a list of strings?

5 answers

mweerden By mweerden

What would be your preferred way to concatenate strings from a sequence such that between every two consecutive pairs a comma is added. That is, how do you map, for instance, ["a", "b", "c"] to "a,b,c"? (The cases ["s"] and [] should be mapped to "s" and "", respectively.)

I usually end up using something like "".join(map(lambda x: x+",",l))[:-1], but also feeling somewhat unsatisfied.

612

Answer #1

my_list = ["a", "b", "c", "d"]
my_string = ",".join(my_list)
"a,b,c,d"

This won"t work if the list contains integers


And if the list contains non-string types (such as integers, floats, bools, None) then do:

my_string = ",".join(map(str, my_list)) 

We hope this article has helped you to resolve the problem. Apart from How to get the PATH environment-variable separator in Python?, check other find-related topics.

Want to excel in Python? See our review of the best Python online courses 2022. If you are interested in Data Science, check also how to learn programming in R.

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Schneider Gonzalez

Munchen | 2022-12-02

Thanks for explaining! I was stuck with How to get the PATH environment-variable separator in Python? for some hours, finally got it done 🤗. Will use it in my bachelor thesis

Jan Richtgofen

Milan | 2022-12-02

I was preparing for my coding interview, thanks for clarifying this - How to get the PATH environment-variable separator in Python? in Python is not the simplest one. I am just not quite sure it is the best method

Cornwall Wu

California | 2022-12-02

Thanks for explaining! I was stuck with How to get the PATH environment-variable separator in Python? for some hours, finally got it done 🤗. I am just not quite sure it is the best method

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