[Numpy-discussion] why does b[:-0] not work, and is there an elegant solution?

Neil Martinsen-Burrell nmb@wartburg....
Wed Aug 19 07:50:46 CDT 2009

On Aug 19, 2009, at 7:25 AM, Mark Bakker wrote:
> I compute the index of the last term in an array that I need and  
> call the index n.
> I can then call the array b as
> b[:-n]
> If I need all terms in the array, the logical syntax would be:
> b[:-0]
> but that doesn't work. Any reason why that has not been implemented?  
> Any elegant workaround?

Because there is no negative zero as an integer:

 >>> -0 == 0

So when Python parses your request, it sees "-0" and replaces that  
with the integer 0.  And as you found out, b[:0] gives you an empty  
slice.  Negative indices are just syntactic sugar for (N+1)-n where N  
is the length of the list and that should work for n=0 as well:

 >>> b = [1,2,3,4,5]
 >>> b[:0]
 >>> b[:len(b)+1-0]
[1, 2, 3, 4, 5]


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