- On Thu, 18 Apr 2002, Ian! wrote:
- > What's the difference between "is" and "=="? I always assumed they were
- > the same.
- > >>> __name__ == '__main__'
- > 1
- > >>> __name__ is '__main__'
- > 0
- Slightly different.
- '==' can be thought of as "value equality", that is, if two things look
- the same, == should return a true value. (For those with a Java
- background, Python's == is actually doing something akin to an equals()
- 'is' can be thought of as 'object identity', that is, if the two things
- actually are the same object.
- The concept is a little subtle, so let's use an example:
- >>> my_name = "danny"
- >>> your_name = "ian"
- >>> my_name == your_name
- My name and your name are different. But what about this?
- >>> my_name[1:3] == your_name[1:3]
- Our names share something in common. *grin* We'd say that my_name[1:3]
- looks the same as your_name[1:3], so they're "equal" in some sense that's
- captured by the idea of '=='. However, the sources of those strings are
- different, and we can see this when we check against object identity:
- >>> my_name[1:3] is your_name[1:3]
- 'is' allows us to make the distinction if the system is keeping track of
- two things that just look alike, or are actually the same thing. Why this
- is useful isn't too obvious for strings; it's more of an issue when one is
- dealing with classes or mutable data structures like lists.
- For now, you probably want to use '==' when you want to compare two things
- for equality. When you learn about data structures, then 'is' will seem
- more relevant.
- Please feel free to ask more questions! Good luck.
"Danny Yoo"'s response to "Ian!" on "[Tutor] is vs. == "
a guest Jan 3rd, 2013 12 Never
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