Python Remove last char from string and return it

Python Remove last char from string and return it

Strings are immutable for good reason: It really saves a lot of headaches, more often than youd think. It also allows python to be very smart about optimizing their use. If you want to process your string in increments, you can pull out part of it with split() or separate it into two parts using indices:

a = abc
a, result = a[:-1], a[-1]

This shows that youre splitting your string in two. If youll be examining every byte of the string, you can iterate over it (in reverse, if you wish):

for result in reversed(a):

I should add this seems a little contrived: Your string is more likely to have some separator, and then youll use split:

ans = foo,blah,etc.
for a in ans.split(,):

Not only is it the preferred way, its the only reasonable way. Because strings are immutable, in order to remove a char from a string you have to create a new string whenever you want a different string value.

You may be wondering why strings are immutable, given that you have to make a whole new string every time you change a character. After all, C strings are just arrays of characters and are thus mutable, and some languages that support strings more cleanly than C allow mutable strings as well. There are two reasons to have immutable strings: security/safety and performance.

Security is probably the most important reason for strings to be immutable. When strings are immutable, you cant pass a string into some library and then have that string change from under your feet when you dont expect it. You may wonder which library would change string parameters, but if youre shipping code to clients you cant control their versions of the standard library, and malicious clients may change out their standard libraries in order to break your program and find out more about its internals. Immutable objects are also easier to reason about, which is really important when you try to prove that your system is secure against particular threats. This ease of reasoning is especially important for thread safety, since immutable objects are automatically thread-safe.

Performance is surprisingly often better for immutable strings. Whenever you take a slice of a string, the Python runtime only places a view over the original string, so there is no new string allocation. Since strings are immutable, you get copy semantics without actually copying, which is a real performance win.

Eric Lippert explains more about the rationale behind immutable of strings (in C#, not Python) here.

Python Remove last char from string and return it

The precise wording of the question makes me think its impossible.

return to me means you have a function, which you have passed a string as a parameter.

You cannot change this parameter. Assigning to it will only change the value of the parameter within the function, not the passed in string. E.g.

>>> def removeAndReturnLastCharacter(a):
        c = a[-1]
        a = a[:-1]
        return c

>>> b = Hello, Gaukler!
>>> removeAndReturnLastCharacter(b)

>>> b    # b has not been changed
Hello, Gaukler!

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