In Python, there are many comparison operators; you always use them to check something in your code and let your code take decision according to the comparison
In this article, I want to go deep with two operators
== to check equality, and
is to check identity.
The equality comparison operator.
>>> 1 == 1 True
In the above code, we are checking whether the value of int 1 is an equal value of int 1, in other words, we are checking the values equality here.
class Number: def __init__(self, number): self.number = number >>> Number(1) == Number(1) False # Wooot
In the above code, we are checking if the values of 2 objects are equal. They are not equal. Classes in Python 🐍 have dunder methods to implement special logic of magic.
__init__() is dunder method to initiate a new object or the class constructor. For our example above, there is a dunder method used to check the equality which is
__eq__() , if we implement it correctly, the expression in the code about should work.
class Number: def __init__(self, number): self.number = number def __eq__(self, another_number): if isinstance(another_number, Number): return self.number == another_number.number return self.number == another_number >>> Number(1) == Number(1) True >>> Number(1) == 1 True
All right, now our class has a correct equality logic. The equality logic is implemented in
__eq__ method. It is also implemented in Python built-in types like Integers.
import inspect from pprint import pprint # 1 is object of int class pprint(inspect.getmembers(1)) pprint(inspect.getmembers(int))
The identity check operator
>>> none_obj = None >>> none_obj is None True >>> number_one = 1 >>> number_one is 1
In Python, every object created will store a reference to it, like in the above code none_obj which is storing a reference to None, and number_one object is storing a reference to 1. Let’s examine how this is done by Python.
>>> none_obj = None >>> id(none_obj) 4304631824 >>> id(None) 4304631824 >>> id(number_one) 4304948352 >>> id(1) 4304948352
When you create a new variable that stores an object or value, this variable name stores a reference to it, so if you create another variable to store the same object, Python stores a pointer to this object instead of creating a new one.
a = Number(1) b = a >>> id(a), id(b) (4520963656, 4520963656) >>> a is b True
Technically speaking, when you check the identity, Python checks
id(a) == id(b), which means: Do objects a and b refer to the same object? So the answer will be True if they refer to the same object.
If you need to check the value equality, use the
== operator and if you need to check whether 2 objects are the same, use
Happy Pythoning 😉