What is the difference between range and xrange?

Description:

How has this changed over time?

Solution:

  • xrange returns the xrange object while range returns the list, and uses the same memory and no matter what the range size is.
  • For the most part, xrange and range are the exact same in terms of functionality. They both provide a way to generate a list of integers for you to use, however you please.
  • The only difference is that range returns a Python list object and x range returns an xrange object. This means that xrange doesn't actually generate a static list at run-time like range does. It creates the values as you need them with a special technique called yielding. This technique is used with a type of object known as generators. That means that if you have a really gigantic range you'd like to generate a list for, say one billion, xrange is the function to use.
  • This is especially true if you have a really memory sensitive system such as a cell phone that you are working with, as range will use as much memory as it can to create your array of integers, which can result in a Memory Error and crash your program. It's a memory hungry beast.
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