Fix Python – What is the syntax rule for having trailing commas in tuple definitions?

Question

Asked By – Stan

In the case of a single element tuple, the trailing comma is required.

a = ('foo',)

What about a tuple with multiple elements? It seems that whether the trailing comma exists or not, they are both valid. Is this correct? Having a trailing comma is easier for editing in my opinion. Is that a bad coding style?

a = ('foo1', 'foo2')
b = ('foo1', 'foo2',)

Now we will see solution for issue: What is the syntax rule for having trailing commas in tuple definitions?


Answer

In all cases except the empty tuple the comma is the important thing. Parentheses are only required when required for other syntactic reasons: to distinguish a tuple from a set of function arguments, operator precedence, or to allow line breaks.

The trailing comma for tuples, lists, or function arguments is good style especially when you have a long initialisation that is split over multiple lines. If you always include a trailing comma then you won’t add another line to the end expecting to add another element and instead just creating a valid expression:

a = [
   "a",
   "b"
   "c"
]

Assuming that started as a 2 element list that was later extended it has gone wrong in a perhaps not immediately obvious way. Always include the trailing comma and you avoid that trap.

This question is answered By – Duncan

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