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proper name for python * operator?

Posted by: admin November 1, 2017 Leave a comment

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What is the correct name for operator *, as in function(*args)? unpack, unzip, something else?

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In Ruby and Perl 6 this has been called “splat”, and I think most people from those communities will figure out what you mean if you call it that.

The Python tutorial uses the phrase “unpacking argument lists”, which is long and descriptive. I haven’t heard any other particular name for it in Python.

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I call it “positional expansion”, as opposed to ** which I call “keyword expansion”.

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The Python Tutorial simply calls it ‘the *-operator’. It performs unpacking of arbitrary argument lists.

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I say “star-args” and Python people seem to know what i mean.

** is trickier – I think just “qargs” since it is usually used as **kw or **kwargs

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One can also call * a gather parameter (when used in function arguments definition) or a scatter operator (when used at function invocation).

As seen here: Think Python/Tuples/Variable-length argument tuples.

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I believe it’s most commonly called the “splat operator.” Unpacking arguments is what it does.

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I call *args “star args” or “varargs” and **kwargs “keyword args”.