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Using Named Tuple in Python


Write Pythonic and Clean Code With namedtuple

Using namedtuple to Write Pythonic Code

  • Create namedtuple classes using namedtuple()
  • Identify and take advantage of cool features of namedtuple
  • Use namedtuple instances to write Pythonic code
  • Decide whether to use a namedtuple or a similar data structure
  • Subclass a namedtuple to provide new features

Python’s collections module provides a factory function called namedtuple(), which is specially designed to make your code more Pythonic when you’re working with tuples. With namedtuple(), you can create immutable sequence types that allow you to access their values using descriptive field names and the dot notation instead of unclear integer indices.

Creating Tuple-Like Classes With namedtuple()

  • Provide required arguments to namedtuple()
  • Use optional arguments with namedtuple()

To create tuple-like classes with namedtuple(), you’ll need to provide the required arguments to namedtuple(). This includes the name of the class you want to create and a string of the field names separated by spaces or commas.

You can also use optional arguments with namedtuple() to customize the behavior of the created tuple-like class. This includes specifying a different tuple base class, adding methods or attributes to the class, and more.

Here’s an example that demonstrates how to create a tuple-like class called Point using namedtuple():

from collections import namedtuple
Point = namedtuple('Point', ['x', 'y'])

In the above example, we create a Point class that has two fields: x and y.

Exploring Additional Features of namedtuple Classes

  • Create namedtuple instances from iterables
  • Convert namedtuple instances into dictionaries
  • Replace fields in existing namedtuple instances
  • Explore additional namedtuple attributes

namedtuple classes provide additional features that make them incredibly versatile. You can create namedtuple instances from iterables, convert namedtuple instances into dictionaries, replace fields in existing namedtuple instances, and explore additional attributes like _asdict() and _replace().

For example, let’s say we have a Point instance called p with the values (1, 2). We can convert this Point instance into a dictionary using the _asdict() method:

p = Point(1, 2)
p_dict = p._asdict()

The resulting p_dict dictionary would be {'x': 1, 'y': 2}.

Writing Pythonic Code With namedtuple

  • Use field names instead of indices
  • Return multiple named values from functions
  • Reduce the number of arguments to functions
  • Read tabular data from files and databases

One of the main advantages of using namedtuple is that it allows you to write more Pythonic code. Instead of accessing values using numerical indices, you can use field names to make your code more readable and self-explanatory.

For example, if you have a Person namedtuple that has fields name, age, and gender, you can access the fields using dot notation instead of indices:

p = Person("John", 30, "male")
name =
age = p.age
gender = p.gender

This makes the code easier to understand and maintain.

Using namedtuple vs Other Data Structures

  • Compare namedtuple vs dictionary
  • Compare namedtuple vs data class
  • Compare namedtuple vs typing.NamedTuple

When deciding whether to use namedtuple or another data structure like a dictionary or a data class, there are several factors to consider. Both dictionaries and data classes offer some flexibility and additional features that namedtuple may not provide.

For example, dictionaries allow you to add or remove keys dynamically, while namedtuple instances are immutable. Data classes provide a more powerful and customizable way to define classes with less boilerplate code compared to namedtuple.

Subclassing namedtuple Classes

Subclassing namedtuple classes allows you to provide new features or override existing behavior. You can use inheritance to create specialized versions of the base namedtuple class, allowing you to add methods, attributes, or customize the initialization process.

Here’s an example that demonstrates how to subclass a namedtuple class called Circle to provide a new method called area():

from collections import namedtuple
class Circle(namedtuple('Circle', ['x', 'y', 'radius'])):
def area(self):
return 3.14 * self.radius ** 2

In the above example, we create a subclass of namedtuple called Circle and add a method area() that calculates the area of the circle.

Measuring Creation Time: tuple vs namedtuple

To measure the creation time of tuples versus namedtuple, you can use the timeit module, which allows you to time the execution of small code snippets.

Here’s an example that demonstrates how to measure the creation time of a tuple and a namedtuple:

from collections import namedtuple
import timeit
def create_tuple():
return (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
def create_namedtuple():
Point = namedtuple('Point', ['x', 'y', 'z', 'a', 'b'])
return Point(1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
tuple_time = timeit.timeit(create_tuple, number=10**6)
namedtuple_time = timeit.timeit(create_namedtuple, number=10**6)
print(f"Tuple creation time: {tuple_time} seconds")
print(f"Namedtuple creation time: {namedtuple_time} seconds")

By running the above code, you can compare the creation time of tuples and namedtuple.


namedtuple is a powerful tool in Python that allows you to write more Pythonic and clean code when working with tuples. By utilizing the features provided by namedtuple, you can make your code more readable, maintainable, and efficient.

In this tutorial, you learned how to create namedtuple classes, explore additional features of namedtuple instances, write Pythonic code using namedtuple, compare namedtuple to other data structures, subclass namedtuple, and measure the creation time of tuples versus namedtuple.

Now that you have a solid understanding of namedtuple, you can start integrating it into your own Python projects and take advantage of its benefits. Happy coding!

Recommended Video Course: Writing Clean, Pythonic Code With namedtuple