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I have this implementation of the split algorithm that different from .split() method you can use with multiple delimiters. Is this a good way of implementing it (more performance)?

def split(str, delim=" "):
    index = 0
    string = ""
    array = []
    while index < len(str):
        if str[index] not in delim: 
            string += str[index]
            if string: 
                string = ""
        index += 1
    if string: array.append(string)
    return array

Using the standard .split() method:

>>> print "hello = 20".split()
['hello', '=', '20']

>>> print "one;two; abc; b ".split(";")
['one', 'two', ' abc', ' b ']

Using my implementation:

>>> print split("hello = 20")
['hello', '=', '20']

>>> print split("one;two; abc; b ", ";")
['one', 'two', ' abc', ' b ']

Multiple delimiters:

>>> print split("one;two; abc; b.e. b eeeeee.e.e;;e ;.", " .;")
['one', 'two', 'abc', 'b', 'e', 'b', 'eeeeee', 'e', 'e', 'e']

>>> print split("foo barfoo;bar;foo", " .;")
['foo', 'barfoo', 'bar', 'foo', 'bar', 'foo']

>>> print split("foo*bar* bar;", "*.")
['foo', 'bar', 'foo', 'foo bar;']

Obs: We can do something like using re.split().

share|improve this question
Post rolled back. Please don't edit the original code based on answers; that will invalidate them. If you'd like further review of your newer code, ask a new follow-up question. – Jamal Apr 19 '14 at 5:56
up vote 3 down vote accepted

There's no need to iterate using that while, a for is good enough.

Also string concatenation (+=) is expensive. It's better to use a list and join the elements at the end.

def split(s, delim=" "):
    words = []
    word = []
    for c in s:
        if c not in delim:
            if word:
                word = []
    if word:
    return words

There's also a one-liner solution based on itertools.groupby:

import itertools

def isplit(s, delim=" "):
    return (''.join(word)
            for is_word, word in itertools.groupby(s, lambda c: c not in delim)
            if is_word)

def split(s, *args, **kwargs):
    return list(isplit(s,  *args, **kwargs)) # or use list comprehension
share|improve this answer
It does not work properly. ['one', 'two', ' abc', ' b', 'e', [' ', 'b', ' ', 'b', ' ', 'b', ' ']] – dxhj Apr 19 '14 at 3:28
It'd should return: ['one', 'two', ' abc', ' b', 'e', ' b b b '] – dxhj Apr 19 '14 at 3:29
For what input? – Cristian Ciupitu Apr 19 '14 at 3:29
For this: "one;two; abc; b.e. b b b " with these delimiters ";.". – dxhj Apr 19 '14 at 3:29
You're right, I forgot to join the characters for the last word. – Cristian Ciupitu Apr 19 '14 at 3:33

I would suggest caution if your concerned about the performance vs the built in split. I am fairly sure you would be replacing c code with python code.

A couple of notes about your implementation:

  • You use the variable name str which is also a built in type, you should avoid if possible.
  • Each time you loop around you add a character which really builds another string, perhaps you could keep going until you find a delimiter and just add all those at 1 time.
  • Also might be worth thinking about wrapping the built in.. (ie calling multiple times)
share|improve this answer
I'd like to add that choosing string for a variable name might hide the string module. – Cristian Ciupitu Apr 19 '14 at 9:39

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