Umair Ahmad Umair Ahmad - 1 month ago 6x
Python Question

Can lambda be used instead of a method, as a key in sorted()?

This is my first time asking a question. I've already got so much help from you without even asking. (Gratitude face).
So, I found this useful piece of code from around here a few weeks ago.

import re

def yearly_sort(value):
numbers = re.compile(r'(\d+)')
parts = numbers.split(value)
parts[1::2] = map(int, parts[1::2])
return parts

It works perfectly here:

def get_files_sorted(path_to_dir):
file_names = []
for root, dirs, files in os.walk(path_to_dir):
for file_name in sorted(files, key=yearly_sort):
file_names.append(os.path.join(root, file_name))
return file_names

Now, I'm facing a problem describing the above function (as you can already see from a non-descriptive method name).

What should be the name of above method (instead of some_sort())?

Can this method be squeezed somehow in a lambda such that key in the sorted() can bind to key=lambda?


you could squeeze it into a lambda provided that numbers is previously compiled (which increases performance)

numbers = re.compile(r'(\d+)')
for file_name in sorted(files, key=lambda value : [int(x) if x.isdigit() else 0 for x in numbers.split(value)][1::2]):

In that case, we do an unnecessary test for items #0 and #3 onwards. Maybe it could be better, but that's the risk with complex lambdas: performance & lisibility can suffer.