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Python Functions, Packing, and Unpacking Packing and Unpacking Packing, a Practical Example

9,780 Points

why not pass LIST instead of *args

I understand why we used *args, but isn't it better just to pass a LIST as argument? (cause from previous lessons, LIST can contain any amount and type of data too, and its mutable... if we use *args, we always get a tuple). This whole *args and **kwargs is a bit consufing in a way: when to you them.

What happens when the function is defined with *args parameter, and I pass in a list? Will the parameter contain a list nested in a tuple?? Are *args really that common? Dont people 'prepare' the data first in ordered groups and then pass them and process them/use them afterwards?

1 Answer

Steven Parker
Steven Parker
228,991 Points

As I learned Python, I discovered it was not just a language but a style, and one hallmark of "pythonic" style is keeping things simple. It's certainly easier to write (and remember) something like "sum(1, 2, 3)" compared to "sum([1,2,3])".

Of course, nothing prevents you from creating your own functions to work that way if you want. But if you work in a team, the other development team members may have different coding style preferences.