# Lists

## Lists - variables with more than values#

You have already seen ordinary variables that store a single value. However other variable types can hold more than one value. These are called containers because they can contain more than one object. The simplest type is called a list. Here is an example of a list being used:

 ```1 2 3 4 5 6``` ```which_one = int(input("What month (1-12)? ")) months = ['January', 'February', 'March', 'April', 'May', 'June', 'July', 'August', 'September', 'October', 'November', 'December'] if 1 <= which_one <= 12: print("The month is", months[which_one - 1]) ```

and the output is:

 ```1 2``` ```What month (1-12)? 3 The month is March ```

In this example the `months` is a list. months is defined with the lines `months = ['January', 'February', 'March', 'April', 'May', 'June', 'July', and 'August', 'September', 'October', 'November', 'December']` (note that a `\` could also be used to split a long line, but that is not necessary in this case because Python is intelligent enough to recognize that everything within brackets belongs together). The `[` and `]` start and end the list with commas (`,`) separating the list items. The list is used in `months[which_one - 1]`. A list consists of items that are numbered starting at 0. In other words if you wanted January you would use `months`. Give a list a number and it will return the value that is stored at that location.

The statement `if 1 <= which_one <= 12:` will only be true if `which_one` is between one and twelve inclusive (in other words it is what you would expect if you have seen that in algebra).

Lists can be thought of as a series of boxes. Each box has a different value. For example, the boxes created by `demolist = ['life', 42, 'the universe', 6, 'and', 9]` would look like this:

box number 0 1 2 3 4 5 demolist "life" 42 "the universe" 6 "and" 9

Each box is referenced by its number so the statement `demolist` would get `'life'`, `demolist` would get `42` and so on up to `demolist` getting `9`.

## More features of lists#

The next example is just to show a lot of other stuff lists can do (for once I don't expect you to type it in, but you should probably play around with lists in interactive mode until you are comfortable with them.). Here goes:

 ``` 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30``` ```demolist = ["life", 42, "the universe", 6, "and", 9] print("demolist = ",demolist) demolist.append("everything") print("after 'everything' was appended demolist is now:") print(demolist) print("len(demolist) =", len(demolist)) print("demolist.index(42) =", demolist.index(42)) print("demolist =", demolist) # Next we will loop through the list for c in range(len(demolist)): print("demolist[", c, "] =", demolist[c]) del demolist print("After 'the universe' was removed demolist is now:") print(demolist) if "life" in demolist: print("'life' was found in demolist") else: print("'life' was not found in demolist") if "amoeba" in demolist: print("'amoeba' was found in demolist") if "amoeba" not in demolist: print("'amoeba' was not found in demolist") another_list = [42,7,0,123] another_list.sort() print("The sorted another_list is", another_list) ```

The output is:

 ``` 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18``` ```demolist = ['life', 42, 'the universe', 6, 'and', 9] after 'everything' was appended demolist is now: ['life', 42, 'the universe', 6, 'and', 9, 'everything'] len(demolist) = 7 demolist.index(42) = 1 demolist = 42 demolist[ 0 ] = life demolist[ 1 ] = 42 demolist[ 2 ] = the universe demolist[ 3 ] = 6 demolist[ 4 ] = and demolist[ 5 ] = 9 demolist[ 6 ] = everything After 'the universe' was removed demolist is now: ['life', 42, 6, 'and', 9, 'everything'] 'life' was found in demolist 'amoeba' was not found in demolist The sorted another_list is [0, 7, 42, 123] ```

This example uses a whole bunch of new functions. Notice that you can just `print` a whole list. Next the `append` function is used to add a new item to the end of the list. `len` returns how many items are in a list. The valid indexes (as in numbers that can be used inside of the `[]`) of a list range from 0 to `len - 1`. The `index` function tells where the first location of an item is located in a list. Notice how `demolist.index(42)` returns 1, and when `demolist` is run it returns 42. To get help on all the functions a list provides for you, type `help(list)` in the interactive Python interpreter.

The line `# Next we will loop through the list` is a just a reminder to the programmer (also called a comment). Python ignores everything that is written after a # on the current line. Next the lines:

 ```1 2``` ```for c in range(len(demolist)): print('demolist[', c, '] =', demolist[c]) ```
create a variable `c`, which starts at 0 and is incremented until it reaches the last index of the list. Meanwhile the `print` statement prints out each element of the list.

A much better way to do the above is:

 ```1 2``` ```for c, x in enumerate(demolist): print("demolist[", c, "] =", x) ```

The `del` command can be used to remove a given element in a list. The next few lines use the `in` operator to test if an element is in or is not in a list. The `sort` function sorts the list. This is useful if you need a list in order from smallest number to largest or alphabetical. Note that this rearranges the list. In summary, for a list, the following operations occur:

example explanation demolist accesses the element at index 2 demolist = 3 sets the element at index 2 to be 3 del demolist removes the element at index 2 len(demolist) returns the length of demolist "value" in demolist is True if "value" is an element in demolist "value" not in demolist is True if "value" is not an element in demolist another_list.sort() sorts another_list. Note that the list must be all numbers or all strings to be sorted. demolist.index("value") returns the index of the first place that "value" occurs demolist.append("value") adds an element "value" at the end of the list demolist.remove("value") removes the first occurrence of value from demolist (same as del demolist[demolist.index("value")])

This next example uses these features in a more useful way:

 ``` 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44``` ```menu_item = 0 namelist = [] while menu_item != 9: print("--------------------") print("1. Print the list") print("2. Add a name to the list") print("3. Remove a name from the list") print("4. Change an item in the list") print("9. Quit") menu_item = int(input("Pick an item from the menu: ")) if menu_item == 1: current = 0 if len(namelist) > 0: while current < len(namelist): print(current, ".", namelist[current]) current = current + 1 else: print("List is empty") elif menu_item == 2: name = input("Type in a name to add: ") namelist.append(name) elif menu_item == 3: del_name = input("What name would you like to remove: ") if del_name in namelist: # namelist.remove(del_name) would work just as fine item_number = namelist.index(del_name) del namelist[item_number] # The code above only removes the first occurrence of # the name. The code below from Gerald removes all. # while del_name in namelist: # item_number = namelist.index(del_name) # del namelist[item_number] else: print(del_name, "was not found") elif menu_item == 4: old_name = input("What name would you like to change: ") if old_name in namelist: item_number = namelist.index(old_name) new_name = input("What is the new name: ") namelist[item_number] = new_name else: print(old_name, "was not found") print("Goodbye") ```
And here is part of the output:

 ``` 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29``` ```-------------------- 1. Print the list 2. Add a name to the list 3. Remove a name from the list 4. Change an item in the list 9. Quit Pick an item from the menu: 2 Type in a name to add: Jack Pick an item from the menu: 2 Type in a name to add: Jill Pick an item from the menu: 1 0 . Jack 1 . Jill Pick an item from the menu: 3 What name would you like to remove: Jack Pick an item from the menu: 4 What name would you like to change: Jill What is the new name: Jill Peters Pick an item from the menu: 1 0 . Jill Peters Pick an item from the menu: 9 Goodbye ```

That was a long program. Let's take a look at the source code. The line `namelist = []` makes the variable `namelist` a list with no items (or elements). The next important line is `while menu_item != 9:`. This line starts a loop that allows the menu system for this program. The next few lines display a menu and decide which part of the program to run.

The section

 ```1 2 3 4 5 6 7``` ```current = 0 if len(namelist) > 0: while current < len(namelist): print(current, ".", namelist[current]) current = current + 1 else: print("List is empty") ```

goes through the list and prints each name. `len(namelist)` tells how many items are in the list. If `len` returns `0`, then the list is empty.

Then, a few lines later, the statement `namelist.append(name)` appears. It uses the `append` function to add an item to the end of the list. Jump down another two lines, and notice this section of code:

 ```1 2``` ```item_number = namelist.index(del_name) del namelist[item_number] ```

Here the `index` function is used to find the index value that will be used later to remove the item. `del namelist[item_number]` is used to remove an element of the list.

The next section

 ```1 2 3 4 5 6 7``` ```old_name = input("What name would you like to change: ") if old_name in namelist: item_number = namelist.index(old_name) new_name = input("What is the new name: ") namelist[item_number] = new_name else: print(old_name, "was not found") ```

uses `index` to find the `item_number` and then puts `new_name` where the `old_name` was.

Congratulations, with lists under your belt, you now know enough of the language that you could do any computations that a computer can do (this is technically known as Turing-Completeness). Of course, there are still many features that are used to make your life easier.

## Examples#

### test.py#

 ``` 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52``` ```## This program runs a test of knowledge # First get the test questions # Later this will be modified to use file io. def get_questions(): # notice how the data is stored as a list of lists return [["What color is the daytime sky on a clear day? ", "blue"], ["What is the answer to life, the universe and everything? ", "42"], ["What is a three letter word for mouse trap? ", "cat"]] # This will test a single question # it takes a single question in # it returns True if the user typed the correct answer, otherwise False def check_question(question_and_answer): # extract the question and the answer from the list # This function takes a list with two elements, a question and an answer. question = question_and_answer answer = question_and_answer # give the question to the user given_answer = input(question) # compare the user's answer to the tester's answer if answer == given_answer: print("Correct") return True else: print("Incorrect, correct was:", answer) return False # This will run through all the questions def run_test(questions): if len(questions) == 0: print("No questions were given.") # the return exits the function return index = 0 right = 0 while index < len(questions): # Check the question #Note that this is extracting a question and answer list from the list of lists. if check_question(questions[index]): right = right + 1 # go to the next question index = index + 1 # notice the order of the computation, first multiply, then divide print("You got", right * 100 / len(questions),\ "% right out of", len(questions)) # now let's get the questions from the get_questions function, and # send the returned list of lists as an argument to the run_test function. run_test(get_questions()) ```

The values `True` and `False` point to 1 and 0, respectively. They are often used in sanity checks, loop conditions etc. You will learn more about this a little bit later (chapter Boolean Expressions). Please note that get_questions() is essentially a list because even though it's technically a function, returning a list of lists is the only thing it does.

Sample Output:

 ```1 2 3 4 5 6 7``` ```What color is the daytime sky on a clear day? green Incorrect, correct was: blue What is the answer to life, the universe and everything? 42 Correct What is a three letter word for mouse trap? cat Correct You got 66 % right out of 3 ```

## Exercises#

Expand the test.py program so it has a menu giving the option of taking the test, viewing the list of questions and answers, and an option to quit. Also, add a new question to ask, "What noise does a truly advanced machine make?" with the answer of "ping".

Solution:

Expand the test.py program so it has menu giving the option of taking the test, viewing the list of questions and answers, and an option to quit. Also, add a new question to ask, "What noise does a truly advanced machine make?" with the answer of "ping".

 ``` 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75``` ```## This program runs a test of knowledge questions = [["What color is the daytime sky on a clear day? ", "blue"], ["What is the answer to life, the universe and everything? ", "42"], ["What is a three letter word for mouse trap? ", "cat"], ["What noise does a truly advanced machine make?", "ping"]] # This will test a single question # it takes a single question in # it returns True if the user typed the correct answer, otherwise False def check_question(question_and_answer): # extract the question and the answer from the list question = question_and_answer answer = question_and_answer # give the question to the user given_answer = input(question) # compare the user's answer to the testers answer if answer == given_answer: print("Correct") return True else: print("Incorrect, correct was:", answer) return False # This will run through all the questions def run_test(questions): if len(questions) == 0: print("No questions were given.") # the return exits the function return index = 0 right = 0 while index < len(questions): # Check the question if check_question(questions[index]): right = right + 1 # go to the next question index = index + 1 # notice the order of the computation, first multiply, then divide print("You got", right * 100 / len(questions), "% right out of", len(questions)) #showing a list of questions and answers def showquestions(): q = 0 while q < len(questions): a = 0 print("Q:" , questions[q][a]) a = 1 print("A:" , questions[q][a]) q = q + 1 # now let's define the menu function def menu(): print("-----------------") print("Menu:") print("1 - Take the test") print("2 - View a list of questions and answers") print("3 - View the menu") print("5 - Quit") print("-----------------") choice = "3" while choice != "5": if choice == "1": run_test(questions) elif choice == "2": showquestions() elif choice == "3": menu() print() choice = input("Choose your option from the menu above: ") ```