Ordered Sets Using Tuples in Python

Tim Buchalka
A free video tutorial from Tim Buchalka
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Lecture description

Continuing on with Tuples, here are will look at more advanced concepts. Specifically, how to put tuples within tuples. And we will finish off with a mini challenge where you will need to figure out how to use Tuples to print a music album's individual track details.

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English So continuing on with our discussion about tuples in Python, so we just talked about this line here in line 15 and how that concept is called unpacking the tuple. It actually mentioned I'm gonna leave the list item here on line 12, just to show you how a tuple can be much better than listing situation. So again if we run the program, making sure we've selected tuples or whatever name you've called your path and fall. Click on run. You can actually see how it's unpacked the top, so in other words with that one line of code on line 15 you've extracted the contents out of the tuple into three individual variables, title, artist and year. So you can see that that makes it very convenient when dealing with the individual items of tuple by signing them to meaningful named variables. I'm just cleaning up this a little bit so I'm going to delete that. So we can actually do something similar or actually the same with the list. So you can change this. So we could come along here and we could change this code on line ten and we could do something like teleca two dot pinned rock. Like so. I'm going to give it title, artist, year, equals Metallica 2. And if we actually run that, we actually get an error. And this is an example of why you wouldn't want to use a list in this situation where the code you're working on, or the data you're working on, isn't to be changed. So it's not immutable. So a list, you can see, isn't immutable. We're able to actually append an item to that. And, of course, when we went to run the code on line 12, we actually failed because it was too many values to unpack, because we didn't assign enough variables. To unpack the data out of the list. So remember that you might be creating code modules. That will be used in different parts of a program. And possibly and even probably if you start working professionally. As a path-end developer by other programmers. And if you allow such things to be done then frankly. It's only a matter of time before they will be done. That's just the nature of programming. Now because a tuple is immutable in other words it can't be changed In this case line ten couldn't be executed cuz a tuple doesn't have an append method. So, this makes your code much more robust to make it a tuple in this scenario and prevents errors that would actually not appear until someone else was using the program. So for example if we try and do something like imelda.append note that there's no intelligent, IntelliSense, nothing happened. Try and do that and run it. I think if I just comment out that line for now. The point is if we actually run this now, we actually get an error, tuple object has no attribute append, because of course we can only use the .append with a list item. Now the other thing to note is that tuple can contain elements that are themselves tuples. So let's actually go ahead and add a track list to the tuple representing the Albert Moore Mayhem. We're just gonna use the first four songs to save some typing. So we're gonna clear out the Metallica code because we don't need that anymore. I'm just going to get rid of all that right now. And let's actually change this mail order, and I'm just going to close the running data. And after date, the year that the album was released, then I'm going to put a comma, then put a bracket, and I'm going to type in another bracket, because I'm creating a tuple. And we're going to create the individual items. So it's one, in the tracks, "Pulling the rug" 2, "Psycho". 3, "Mayhem". And 4, "Kentish Town Waltz. I can just do that and get rid of that last bracket there. So it's another line here, print(imelda). We're gonna do in this case, we're gonna do title, artist, year, but also tracks now, the fourth variable, equals imelda. So we're unpacking the top lagoon. And of course we're gonna print title, print artist, print year, print tracks. So if you run that. You can see we've correctly now got the information out. We've got the three fields as before, title, artist and year. But notice how the fourth entry, tracks, has been returned as a tuple in its own right. Now the important thing to note here in this situation, when adding these extra tuples, was that it was important to actually enclose the four individual songs. The track number and the actual song in parentheses. Otherwise what would happen would be the Python interpreter would actually evaluate that as a single tuple with eight elements. In other words, track 1, song 1, track 2, song 2. So by putting an extra set of parentheses around each, we're actually making it clear that these are individual tuples in their own right. So just to show you what I actually mean there I can actually change that. So I could get rid of these extra brackets, and close this down. So I get rid of all these brackets. Just leaving the last bracket in there. If I actually run that. You can see, now, we've got single tuple with eight entries. The four individual track numbers, and the four songs. And obviously, in that case, we've actually lost a lot of the structure. Because instead of the tracks obviously having a track number. With title we've just got eight values, and there's no obvious relationship. At least not obvious to the computer, anyway. So we just undo that, and do that again, put the brackets back again. So we've got individual tuples again. And it's also possible to extract the individual tracks as well. So at the moment we got title, artist, year, we've got tracks. But let's change tracks to track1, track2, track3, and track4. And now we have to print those out individually, so track1, 2, 3, 4. So, we can actually run that. And what I was going to do then, I'll just close that down. What I was gonna go is get rid of this initial bracket, so I'm actually just creating four separate tuples effectively here. If I actually run that, that breaks down each individual track and title into it's own tuple. Now that will actually get an error, and the error that you actually saw on the screen before I changed it, if it hadn't actually created four separate track variables, as I've done there. But also if I hadn't actually changed and removed the extra brackets, you sort of created a tuple within a tuple, so to speak, or four tuples within that master tuple. So in this example, though, it's still a good example cuz we've actually retained the relationship between track number and title. But the downside with this method here, with track one through four, cuz we'd actually need to know in advance how many tracks there are. And obviously we'll need to create a variable for each one. Cuz obviously if we forgot, and got rid of track4 and we'll comment this line out and we were to run it, you actually get an error because there's too many values to unpack. So we'll need to look at our data now ahead of time. How many variables to actually have on the assignment line, and obviously to actually be able to use those on the right line. Of course, we've now lost the ability to actually process a single tuple with a for loop. And we'll do that in a minute, just in case it's not obvious. So, let's actually look at the final example without any parenthesis. To create a single tuple containing 11 elements. So, I'm actually gonna copy and paste some code here just to save a bit of time. I'm going to copy that. I'm going to close this window down. I'm just gonna paste this in to the builder variable definition. So, you can see in this case now we've literally got a single tuple containing eleven elements. So, we've obviously got the three that we had initial title, artist, and year. And then we've also got each track number. And also, the actual song title for the first four songs of the track of the album as well. I you try to print to run this we'll get an error. And too many ellies to unpack, expected 7. And that's because we've actually put them all individually into one master tuple. And it's now a total of 11 elements, two each for the first four tracks, for the artist for the album. And then, of course, it was title, artist as well, and that made up the 11. So if you're really trying to store an album object, for instance, in Python, the first structure we did makes more sense and more accurately reflects the real objects. Cuz albums can have different numbers of tracks, you can just iterate over the contained tracks tuple to print them all out. So as promised, we're going to look at the code to print the tracks in more mayhem using the original structure. But I didn't say I wouldn't ask you to have a go first though. So what I've come up with is a simple challenge and I'm gonna start that now. So let me talk about the challenge. So the challenge is going to be, Okay, so this is a challenge. So given the tuple that I've got on line seven, below. And that actually represents the amount Imelda May track called Mayhem. And that should actually say, Imelda May album. So, here, I'll start it here. Given the tuple below that represents the Imelda May album, Mayhem, or at least the first four songs. Right code to actually print the album details. Followed by listing of all the tracks in the album. Now, you want to indent the tracks by a single tab stop when printing them. And remember that you can actually pass more than one item to the print function, separating them with a comma. So go away and see if you can come up with a solution to that, printing that out in the right format. And when you're ready to come back and check your code, restart the video and I'll show you how to do it. So pause the video now and see what you can come up with. Okay, so how did you figure it out? So let me go through and show you our sample solution. First I'll start off by just printing the current tuple just so we can sort of see what it's like. So the first thing we wanna do is extract the fields. So we're gonna extract four. Title Artist, year, tracks = imelda. And obviously we're using this tuple that has got four tuples within it, and by doing that, we can actually just use that one assignment to actually get all of the tuples in that one assignment. And we can obviously print out the title, print title. You can print the artist and obviously the year as well but to actually go through each song if you are using the for loop you are in the right frame of mind so you type for song in tracks. Remembering that tracks contains a list of tuples and the for loop is gonna go through and allocate the individual song or the value from pulling it from the tuple into the variable song. And from there we can literally just type print, adding the tap\t song. So, we can actually run that. And you can see that we are able to actually print out the title, artist and year. And for each song we have actually just printed out the tuple. Now alternatively you might have actually further expanded the individual song tuples, and you can do that quite easily as well. So what we could have done is under the for loop we can type track, title = song. So I'm packing the tuple into the variables called Track and Title. Then we can actually leave the slash-T in there, but we wanna start using replacement fields, and we'll put something like track number, and then title column, another replacement field. And of course down here we've actually put .format, which would be track, total. So we can actually run that code, and we'll individually print out the track number and obviously the total as well. So that's my solution to the challenge. And just a couple more questions for you to think about. So once you've actually represented your alburn collection as tuples, we'll destroy all the tuples in the list, or we'll just store them in another tuple. I'll just say that again. Once you've represented your album collection as tuples, we'll destroy all the tuples in the list, or in another tuple. But the answer to that one is that in programming there's certainly incorrect answers because they have solutions that don't work. But there's really one correct answer. So, with that said, you have multiple options, but often there is one that is better in a given situation. So unless you are positive that you will never buy another album. You'd be better off using a list to store the albums in, because of course, once you've actually allocated something in a tuple, you can't actually change it again. So if you had a list, you could actually pin new items to the list as you acquired new albums. Second question is, although a tuple is immutable, what would be the status of a tuple that contained a mutable object such as a list. So that question again is, although a tuple is immutable, what would be the status of a tuple that contained immutable objects, such as a list. So a tuple is immutable, as we've established, so its contents cannot be changed. But, however, if a tuple contained a list, for example, as one of its elements, then the contents of the list itself can change. So to see this in action I'm gonna type in a little bit of code just to show you what I mean. The best way to do that is just to paste this in. I'm gonna paste all this code in. I'm gonna temporarily, I've shut down the run window and I'm just going to comment out this code so you'll still have it available for download. This is the answer to the second question, or it explains a little bit better, anyway. Looking at this code you'll notice how I've actually created a topple for each of the individual tracks, but they're now in a list. With the square brackets indicating it's in a list. So the contents of that mutable list tracks has actually changed. So you can see now that we've actually changed the immutable tuple to store the songs as a list of tuples, noting the square brackets I've actually put around there now. So this is now a list that still contains individual tuples. And what we can then do is, we can actually apend, quite happily actually, a pint another track to the list using the lists append method. You can see that their showing that on line 26, and again you can see that in operation on line 29 where we're actually appending an additional track. So the tuple still contains four elements, title, artist, year, and tracks. And that hasn't changed. The contents of the immutable list track, tracks I should say, has changed, just to run this just to confirm it's working. There's no errors. You can see we're able to actually get that to run. So that's an important clarification there again, that a tuple is immutable. So its contents can't be changed. However, if a tuple contains a list, as it did in this example that I've just showed you that the contents of the list itself can actually change and you saw it actually working on the screen. This concept where you can actually change a list that's within a tuple has implications later in the course when we start looking at dictionaries and keys. It's also useful in many applications. For example if you ever replace your vinyl collection records with CDs you might've noticed that the CDs come with bonus tracks and now having tuple can cope with that. The way that we've actually developed it. So that's it. That's the end of this video. I'll see you in the next video.