Table column counter and amp; to search for a Python value

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Let's say I have this multi-dimensional table called "a":

[['John',  8, 'Student'   ],
 ['Paul', 22, 'Car Dealer'],
 ['Nick', 30, 'Doctor'    ],
 ['Mark', 66, 'Retired'   ]]


Is there a built in function in python to count how many columns are there (4) instead of doing something like this?:

f = 0
for item in a: f = f + 1

also can I have the two above lines combined in one?


With a built-in function:

  • how can I search in the names, in the first column to find if a name exists?

  • how can I search the whole table if a value exists?


Use len for rows:

table=[['John',  8, 'Student'   ],
       ['Paul', 22, 'Car Dealer'],
       ['Nick', 30, 'Doctor', 'this row is longer..','making 5'],
       ['Mark', 66, 'Retired'   ]]

y=len(table)      # 4

And then you will have to go row by row to find the max width:

x=max(len(row) for row in table)     # 5

You can use a list comprehension to get a vertical column's values:

>>> [li[0] for li in table]
['John', 'Paul', 'Nick', 'Mark']

To find a value, you can use a generator expression with any or just test membership:

any('John' in l for l in table)      # True
'Paul' in (li[0] for li in table)    # True

To find which row, use a list comprehension:

[i for i,l in enumerate(table) if 'Mark' in l]   # 3