2.2 Non-essential Built-in Functions
There are several built-in functions that are no longer essential to learn,
know or use in modern Python programming. They have been kept here to
maintain backwards compatability with programs written for older versions
Python programmers, trainers, students and bookwriters should feel free to
bypass these functions without concerns about missing something important.
||function, args[, keywords])|
The function argument must be a callable object (a
user-defined or built-in function or method, or a class object) and
the args argument must be a sequence. The function is
called with args as the argument list; the number of arguments
is the length of the tuple.
If the optional keywords argument is present, it must be a
dictionary whose keys are strings. It specifies keyword arguments
to be added to the end of the argument list.
Calling apply() is different from just calling
function(args), since in that case there is always
exactly one argument. The use of apply() is equivalent
Use of apply() is not necessary since the ``extended call
syntax,'' as used in the last example, is completely equivalent.
Deprecated since release 2.3.
Use the extended call syntax instead, as described
||object[, offset[, size]])|
The object argument must be an object that supports the buffer
call interface (such as strings, arrays, and buffers). A new buffer
object will be created which references the object argument.
The buffer object will be a slice from the beginning of object
(or from the specified offset). The slice will extend to the
end of object (or will have a length given by the size
Return a tuple consisting of the two numeric arguments converted to
a common type, using the same rules as used by arithmetic
operations. If coercion is not possible, raise TypeError.
See About this document... for information on suggesting changes.
Enter string in the table of ``interned'' strings and return
the interned string - which is string itself or a copy.
Interning strings is useful to gain a little performance on
dictionary lookup - if the keys in a dictionary are interned, and
the lookup key is interned, the key comparisons (after hashing) can
be done by a pointer compare instead of a string compare. Normally,
the names used in Python programs are automatically interned, and
the dictionaries used to hold module, class or instance attributes
have interned keys.
Changed in version 2.3:
Interned strings are not
immortal (like they used to be in Python 2.2 and before);
you must keep a reference to the return value of intern()
around to benefit from it.