user2398870 user2398870 - 1 year ago 192
Python Question

Validating user input strings in Python

So I've searched just about every permutation of the words "string", "python", "validate", "user input", and so on, but I've yet to come across a solution that's working for me.

My goal is to prompt the user on whether or not they want to start another transaction using the strings "yes" and "no", and I figured that string comparison would be a fairly easy process in Python, but something just isn't working right. I am using Python 3.X, so input should be taking in a string without using raw input, as far as I understand.

The program will always kick back invalid input, even when entering 'yes' or 'no', but the really weird thing is that every time I enter a a string > 4 characters in length or an int value, it will check it as valid positive input and restart the program. I have not found a way to get valid negative input.

endProgram = 0;
while endProgram != 1:

#Prompt for a new transaction
userInput = input("Would you like to start a new transaction?: ");
userInput = userInput.lower();

#Validate input
while userInput in ['yes', 'no']:
print ("Invalid input. Please try again.")
userInput = input("Would you like to start a new transaction?: ")
userInput = userInput.lower()

if userInput == 'yes':
endProgram = 0
if userInput == 'no':
endProgram = 1

I have also tried

while userInput != 'yes' or userInput != 'no':

I would greatly appreciate not only help with my problem, but if anyone has any additional information on how Python handles strings that would be great.

Sorry in advance if someone else has already asked a question like this, but I did my best to search.

Thanks all!


Answer Source

You are testing if the user input is yes or no. Add a not:

while userInput not in ['yes', 'no']:

Ever so slightly faster and closer to your intent, use a set:

while userInput not in {'yes', 'no'}:

What you used is userInput in ['yes', 'no'], which is True if userInput is either equal to 'yes' or 'no'.

Next, use a boolean to set endProgram:

endProgram = userInput == 'no'

Because you already verified that userInput is either yes or no, there is no need to test for yes or no again to set your flag variable.

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