str() vs repr() functions in python 2.7.5 [duplicate]

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Question :

str() vs repr() functions in python 2.7.5 [duplicate]

what is the difference between str() and repr() functions in python 2.7.5?

Explanation on python.org:

The str() function is meant to return representations of values which are fairly human-readable, while repr() is meant to generate
representations which can be read by the interpreter (or will force a SyntaxError if there is no equivalent syntax)

But it wasn’t clear for me.

some examples:

>>> s = 'Hello, world.'
>>> str(s)
'Hello, world.'
>>> repr(s)
"'Hello, world.'"      # repr is giving an extra double quotes
>>> str(1.0/7.0)
'0.142857142857'
>>> repr(1.0/7.0)
'0.14285714285714285'  # repr is giving value with more precision

so I want to know the following

  1. When should I use str() and when should I use repr()?
  2. In which cases I can use either of them?
  3. What can str() do which repr() can’t?
  4. What can repr() do which str() can’t?
Asked By: AnV

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Answer #1:

When should i use str() and when should i use repr() ?

Almost always use str() when creating output for end users.

repr() is mainly useful for debugging and exploring. For example, if you suspect a string has non printing characters in it, or a float has a small rounding error, repr() will show you; str() may not.

repr() can also be useful for generating literals to paste into your source code. It can also be used for persistence (with ast.literal_eval or eval), but this is rarely a good idea–if you want editable persisted values, something like JSON or YAML is much better, and if you don’t plan to edit them, use pickle.

2.In which cases i can use either of them ?

Well, you can use them almost anywhere. You shouldn’t generally use them except as described above.

3.What can str() do which repr() can’t ?

Give you output fit for end-user consumption–not always (e.g., str([‘spam’, ‘eggs’]) isn’t likely to be anything you want to put in a GUI), but more often than repr().

4.What can repr() do which str() can’t

Give you output that’s useful for debugging–again, not always (the default for instances of user-created classes is rarely helpful), but whenever possible.

And sometimes give you output that’s a valid Python literal or other expression–but you rarely want to rely on that except for interactive exploration.

Answered By: abarnert

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