NoIdeaHowToFixThis NoIdeaHowToFixThis - 1 month ago 6
Python Question

Why does map return a map object instead of a list in Python 3?

I am interested in understanding the new language design of Python 3.x.

I do enjoy, in Python 2.7, the function

map
:

Python 2.7.12
In[2]: map(lambda x: x+1, [1,2,3])
Out[2]: [2, 3, 4]


However, in Python 3.x things have changed:

Python 3.5.1
In[2]: map(lambda x: x+1, [1,2,3])
Out[2]: <map at 0x4218390>


I understand the how, but I could not find a reference to the why. Why did the language designers make this choice, which, in my opinion, introduces a great deal of pain. Was this to arm-wrestle developers in sticking to list comprehensions?

IMO, list can be naturally thought as Functors; and I have been somehow been thought to think in this way:

fmap :: (a -> b) -> f a -> f b

Answer

I think the reason why map still exists at all when generator expressions also exist, is that it can take multiple iterator arguments that are all looped over and passed into the function:

>>> list(map(min, [1,2,3,4], [0,10,0,10]))
[0,2,0,4]

That's slightly easier than using zip:

>>> list(min(x, y) for x, y in zip([1,2,3,4], [0,10,0,10]))

Otherwise, it simply doesn't add anything over generator expressions.

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