Daily Archives: July 19, 2010

The Python Lambda

When I first started learning Python, one of the most confusing concepts to get my head around was the lambda statement. I’m sure other new programmers get confused by it as well and some of you are probably wondering what I’m talking about. So, in the spirit of education, let’s have a pop quiz:

Q. What is a lambda?

A. the 11th letter of the Greek alphabet
B. the craniometric point at the junction of the sagittal and lamboid sutures of the skull
C. the driver in an Arm Slave mecha that allows it to change the user’s thoughts into reality
D. the name of a series of Japanese rocket
E. anonymous (unbound) functions

If you guessed, F – all of the above, you got it right! Of course, in the context of this article, “E” is really the right answer. The Python lambda statement is an anonymous or unbound function and a pretty limited function at that. Let’s take a look at a few typical examples and see if we can find a use case for it. Continue reading The Python Lambda