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Putting an if-elif-else statement on one line?

Posted by: admin November 29, 2017 Leave a comment

Questions:

I have read the links below, but it doesn’t address my question.
Does Python have a ternary conditional operator? (the question is about condensing if-else statement to one line)

Is there an easier way of writing an if-elif-else statement so it fits on one line?
For example,

if expression1:
   statement1
elif expression2:
   statement2
else:
   statement3

[UPDATE]

if i>100:
    x=2
elif i<100:
    x=1
else:
    x=0

I just feel if the example above could be written the following way, it could look like more concise.

x=2 if i>100 elif i<100 1 else 0 [WRONG]
Answers:

No, it’s not possible (at least not with arbitrary statements), nor is it desirable. Fitting everything on one line would most likely violate PEP-8 where it is mandated that lines should not exceed 80 characters in length.

It’s also against the Zen of Python: “Readability counts”. (Type import this at the Python prompt to read the whole thing).

You can use a ternary expression in Python, but only for expressions, not for statements:

>>> a = "Hello" if foo() else "Goodbye"

Edit:

Your revised question now shows that the three statements are identical except for the value being assigned. In that case, a chained ternary operator does work, but I still think that it’s less readable:

>>> i=100
>>> a = 1 if i<100 else 2 if i>100 else 0
>>> a
0
>>> i=101
>>> a = 1 if i<100 else 2 if i>100 else 0
>>> a
2
>>> i=99
>>> a = 1 if i<100 else 2 if i>100 else 0
>>> a
1

Questions:
Answers:

If you only need different expressions for different cases then this may work for you:

expr1 if condition1 else expr2 if condition2 else expr

For example:

a = "neg" if b<0 else "pos" if b>0 else "zero"

Questions:
Answers:

Just nest another if clause in the else statement. But that doesn’t make it look any prettier.

>>> x=5
>>> x if x>0 else ("zero" if x==0 else "invalid value")
5
>>> x = 0
>>> x if x>0 else ("zero" if x==0 else "invalid value")
'zero'
>>> x = -1
>>> x if x>0 else ("zero" if x==0 else "invalid value")
'invalid value'

Questions:
Answers:

It also depends on teh nature of your expressions. The general advice on the other answers of “not doing it” is quite valid for generic statements and generic expressions.

But if all you need is a “dispacth” table, like, calling a different function depending on the value of a given option, you can put the functions to call inside a dictionary.

Something like:

def save(): 
   ...
def edit():
   ...
options = {"save": save, "edit": edit, "remove": lambda : "Not Implemented"}

option = get_input()
result = options[option]()

(that instead of

if option=="save":
    save()
...

)

Questions:
Answers:

There’s an alternative that’s quite unreadable in my opinion but I’ll share anyway just as a curiosity:

x = (i>100 and 2) or (i<100 and 1) or 0

More info here: https://docs.python.org/3/library/stdtypes.html#boolean-operations-and-or-not

Questions:
Answers:

Well, I came across similar problems months ago, then one day I realized you can actually take advantage of get method of a dict object.

x = {i>100: 2, i<100: 1}.get(True, 0)

Basically i>100 and i<100 cannot both be true, so if either of them is True you get the value you want(2 or 1), if none of them is True, you get 0.

Questions:
Answers:

People have already mentioned ternary expressions. Sometimes with a simple conditional assignment as your example, it is possible to use a mathematical expression to perform the conditional assignment. This may not make your code very readable, but it does get it on one fairly short line. Your example could be written like this:

x = 2*(i>100) | 1*(i<100)

The comparisons would be True or False, and when multiplying with numbers would then be either 1 or 0. One could use a + instead of an | in the middle.