Python: split a list based on a condition?


Question

What's the best way, both aesthetically and from a performance perspective, to split a list of items into multiple lists based on a conditional? The equivalent of:

good = [x for x in mylist if x in goodvals]
bad  = [x for x in mylist if x not in goodvals]

is there a more elegant way to do this?

Update: here's the actual use case, to better explain what I'm trying to do:

# files looks like: [ ('file1.jpg', 33L, '.jpg'), ('file2.avi', 999L, '.avi'), ... ]
IMAGE_TYPES = ('.jpg','.jpeg','.gif','.bmp','.png')
images = [f for f in files if f[2].lower() in IMAGE_TYPES]
anims  = [f for f in files if f[2].lower() not in IMAGE_TYPES]
1
234
6/4/2009 8:08:30 AM

Accepted Answer

good = [x for x in mylist if x in goodvals]
bad  = [x for x in mylist if x not in goodvals]

is there a more elegant way to do this?

That code is perfectly readable, and extremely clear!

# files looks like: [ ('file1.jpg', 33L, '.jpg'), ('file2.avi', 999L, '.avi'), ... ]
IMAGE_TYPES = ('.jpg','.jpeg','.gif','.bmp','.png')
images = [f for f in files if f[2].lower() in IMAGE_TYPES]
anims  = [f for f in files if f[2].lower() not in IMAGE_TYPES]

Again, this is fine!

There might be slight performance improvements using sets, but it's a trivial difference, and I find the list comprehension far easier to read, and you don't have to worry about the order being messed up, duplicates being removed as so on.

In fact, I may go another step "backward", and just use a simple for loop:

images, anims = [], []

for f in files:
    if f.lower() in IMAGE_TYPES:
        images.append(f)
    else:
        anims.append(f)

The a list-comprehension or using set() is fine until you need to add some other check or another bit of logic - say you want to remove all 0-byte jpeg's, you just add something like..

if f[1] == 0:
    continue
99
6/4/2009 1:28:23 PM

good, bad = [], []
for x in mylist:
    (bad, good)[x in goodvals].append(x)

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