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7.6 More on Conditions

The conditions used in while and if statements above can contain other operators besides comparisons.

The comparison operators in and not in check whether a value occurs (does not occur) in a sequence. The operators is and is not compare whether two objects are really the same object; this only matters for mutable objects like lists. All comparison operators have the same priority, which is lower than that of all numerical operators.

Comparisons can be chained. For example, a < b == c tests whether a is less than b and moreover b equals c.

Comparisons may be combined by the Boolean operators and and or, and the outcome of a comparison (or of any other Boolean expression) may be negated with not. These all have lower priorities than comparison operators again; between them, not has the highest priority, and or the lowest, so that A and not B or C is equivalent to (A and (not B)) or C. Of course, parentheses can be used to express the desired composition.

The Boolean operators and and or are so-called short-circuit operators: their arguments are evaluated from left to right, and evaluation stops as soon as the outcome is determined. For example, if A and C are true but B is false, A and B and C does not evaluate the expression C. In general, the return value of a short-circuit operator, when used as a general value and not as a Boolean, is the last evaluated argument.

It is possible to assign the result of a comparison or other Boolean expression to a variable. For example,

    >>> str1, str2, str3 = ", 'Trondheim', 'Hammer Dance'
    >>> non_null = str1 or str2 or str3
    >>> non_null

Note that in Python, unlike C, assignment cannot occur inside expressions. C programmers may grumble about this, but it avoids a common class of problems encountered in C programs: typing = in an expression when == was intended.

  Published under the terms of the Python License Design by Interspire