[Twisted-Python] Design Pattern for Iterating Through Lists

Jp Calderone exarkun at divmod.com
Mon Mar 14 12:04:04 EST 2005

On Mon, 14 Mar 2005 10:37:15 -0600, Ken Kinder <ken at kenkinder.com> wrote:
>I've come almost to the point of making a template for this kind of 
> operation:
>     d = Deferred()
>     d.callback(0)
>     results = []
>     def doItem(void, eggs):
>         return whatever(eggs)
>     def processResult(result):
>         results.append(result)
>     for spam in list:
>         d.addCallback(doItem, spam['eggs'])
>         d.addCallback(processResult)
>     d.addCallback(lambda _: results)
>     return d
> The reason I'm calling back on doItem is that lambda will evaluate its 
> variables one for the iteration, causing only the first evaluation of 
> spam['eggs'] to be passed for each item in the list. Is there a more 
> readable/efficient way of doing this? Note that I'm not using a 
> DeferredList because I want everything processed serially, not in parallel.

  Actually, I think you meant "last evaluation" rather than first.

  One solution is just to wrap the above into a function:

    def serially(processor, items):
        results = []
        d = defer.Deferred()

        for elem in items:
            d.addCallback(lambda ign, elem=elem: processor(elem))

        d.addCallback(lambda ign: results)
        return d

  Now you can call serially whenever you need this operation and forget how unpleasant the implementation is :)

  Another approach involves building up the Deferred chain gradually rather than all at once:

    def serially(processor, items):
        results = []
        d = defer.Deferred()

        toBeProcessed = iter(items)

        def doItem(ignored):
            for elem in toBeProcessed:
                    processor, elem).addCallback(

        return d

  It's a bit more code, and I'm still not sure how I feel about that abuse of for loops (but is handling StopIteration manually any better?  dunno), but it avoids building up a large stack inside the Deferred, which can be a good thing - a large number of synchronous results will probably cause Python to raise a RuntimeError in your version or my first version, since Deferred processes its callbacks recursively.

  Hope this helps,


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