9.11. Traversal and the
for Loop: By Index¶
It is also possible to use the
range function to systematically generate the indices of the characters. The
for loop can then be used to iterate over these positions.
These positions can be used together with the indexing operator to access the individual
characters in the string.
Consider the following codelens example.
The index positions in “apple” are 0,1,2,3 and 4. This is exactly the same sequence of integers returned by
range(5). The first time through the for loop,
idx will be 0 and the “a” will be printed. Then,
idx will be reassigned to 1 and “p” will be displayed. This will repeat for all the range values up to but not including 5. Since “e” has index 4, this will be exactly right to show all
of the characters.
In order to make the iteration more general, we can use the
len function to provide the bound for
range. This is a very common pattern for traversing any sequence by position. Make sure you understand why the range function behaves
correctly when using
len of the string as its parameter value.
You may also note that iteration by position allows the programmer to control the direction of the traversal by changing the sequence of index values. Recall that we can create ranges that count down as well as up so the following code will print the characters from right to left.
Trace the values of
idx and satisfy yourself that they are correct. In particular, note the start and end of the range.
Check your understanding