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Python Functional Python Functional Workhorses Sorting

Andy McDonald
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Andy McDonald
Python Development Techdegree Graduate 13,801 Points

Dont know how to use itemgetter

The video does a great job of explaining how to use item getter on objects with attributes but it has me wondering how to use itemgetter on a tuple....

from operator import itemgetter

fruit_list = [
    ('apple', 2),
    ('banana', 5),
    ('coconut', 1),
    ('durian', 3),
    ('elderberries', 4)

sorted_fruit = sorted(fruit_list, key=itemgetter(fruit_list[1])

1 Answer

Jeff Muday
Jeff Muday
Treehouse Moderator 28,372 Points

I agree that itemgetter() is a little odd in its usage. But you're on the right track.

Since itemgetter creates an operator, it won't use fruit_list at all. It simply refers to a 'key' in the list.

You will notice the first element of the tuple is a letter. We use itemgetter(0) to sort by that key. And the second element is an index. We use itemgetter(1) to sort by that key. See below.

I think you can figure the rest out. Good luck with your Python journey!

Python 3.6.2 (v3.6.2:5fd33b5, Jul  8 2017, 04:14:34) [MSC v.1900 32 bit (Intel)] on win32
Type "help", "copyright", "credits" or "license" for more information.
>>> fruit_list = [
...     ('apple', 2),
...     ('banana', 5),
...     ('coconut', 1),
...     ('durian', 3),
...     ('elderberries', 4)
... ]
>>> fruit_list
[('apple', 2), ('banana', 5), ('coconut', 1), ('durian', 3), ('elderberries', 4)]
>>> # try a sort by the FIRST element of the tuple
>>> sorted_alphabetically = sorted(fruit_list, key=itemgetter(0)) 
>>> sorted_alphabetically
[('apple', 2), ('banana', 5), ('coconut', 1), ('durian', 3), ('elderberries', 4)]
>>> # try a sort by the SECOND element of the tuple
>>> sorted_index = sorted(fruit_list, key=itemgetter(1) )
>>> sorted_index
[('coconut', 1), ('apple', 2), ('durian', 3), ('elderberries', 4), ('banana', 5)]