I have the following class based linked list created in Python. I need some help in the best way to actually call and test this (print the results and output to the screen).

For an accepted answer, could someone please 1. use my existing code, to test/output results showing the linked list implementation 2. Make any comments on my existing code and suggestions as to how it could be improved (if any)

I am not sure how to "call" the testing method to see the results, or whether it is better to take that out and test outside the class. If the latter is preferred, could someone please demonstrate this, as I am unclear/unsure of the creation of nodes and next pointer objects in order to test the class.


class Node:
        def __init__(self,contents=None, next=None):
                #Here we are defining the two attributes - contents of the list and the next pointer
                self.contents = contents
                self.next = next

        def getContents(self):
                return self.contents

        def __str__(self):
                return str(self.contents)

        def print_list(node):
                while node:

        def testing():
                #Add content to each node 
                #Define the pointers for each node (e.g. follow through A to B to C to D)

I am also unclear on the implementation, as when creating a queue you would have something like the below to add an element. Would this not be needed here for a linked list?

Method for adding an item to a queue

def add(self,item): #method to add something
        self.items.append(item) #to add something, use append

This would be added to the queue (and tested) like so:


I think some guidance on what exactly is happening (comments) would be helpful too.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ You're asking for explanations. Who wrote the code if you don't understand what's going on? \$\endgroup\$ – Mast Nov 7 '17 at 7:26

First, there are some awkwardnesses in your code:

  • You should not use next as a variable because, it is a built-in function.
  • The getContents function is useless, because contents is a public attribute.
  • Your print_list method is ill-formed, you need to use self.

You can simplify like this:

class Node:
    def __init__(self,contents=None, next_node=None):
        self.contents = contents
        self.next_node = next_node

    def __str__(self):
        return str(self.contents)

    def print_list(self):
        node = self
        while node is not None:
            node = node.next_node

To test your code, you can use the Unit Testing Framework, for instance:

import unittest

class TestNode(unittest.TestCase):

    def test_construcor(self):
        node1 = Node("A")
        node2 = Node("C")
        node3 = Node("D")
        node4 = Node("B")
        # Define the pointers for each node (e.g. follow through A to B to C to D)
        node1.next_node = node4
        node4.next_node = node2
        node2.next_node = node3
        self.assertEqual(node1.next_node.contents, 'B')

if __name__ == '__main__':

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.