Python: can I have a list with named indices?

In PHP I can name my array indices so that I may have something like:

$shows = Array(0 => Array('id' => 1, 'name' => 'Sesame Street'), 
               1 => Array('id' => 2, 'name' => 'Dora The Explorer'));

Is this possible in Python?

Asked by: Lenny656 | Posted: 01-10-2021

Answer 1

This sounds like the PHP array using named indices is very similar to a python dict:

shows = [
  {"id": 1, "name": "Sesaeme Street"},
  {"id": 2, "name": "Dora The Explorer"},

See for more on this.

Answered by: Ned934 | Posted: 02-11-2021

Answer 2

PHP arrays are actually maps, which is equivalent to dicts in Python.

Thus, this is the Python equivalent:

showlist = [{'id':1, 'name':'Sesaeme Street'}, {'id':2, 'name':'Dora the Explorer'}]

Sorting example:

from operator import attrgetter


BUT! With the example you provided, a simpler datastructure would be better:

shows = {1: 'Sesame Street', 2:'Dora the Explorer'}

Answered by: Miranda881 | Posted: 02-11-2021

Answer 3


What you want is available in the just-released Python 2.6 in the form of named tuples. They allow you to do this:

import collections
person = collections.namedtuple('Person', 'id name age')

me = person(id=1, age=1e15, name='Dan')
you = person(2, 'Somebody', 31.4159)

assert me.age == me[2]   # can access fields by either name or position

Answered by: Lenny482 | Posted: 02-11-2021

Answer 4


a = {"id": 1, "name":"Sesame Street"}

Answered by: Kristian590 | Posted: 02-11-2021

Answer 5

The pandas library has a really neat solution: Series.

book = pandas.Series( ['Introduction to python', 'Someone', 359, 10],
   index=['Title', 'Author', 'Number of pages', 'Price'])
print book['Author']

For more information check it's documentation:

Answered by: Robert685 | Posted: 02-11-2021

Answer 6

I think what you are asking is about python dictionaries.There you can named your indices as you wish . For ex:

dictionary = {"name": "python", "age": 12}

Answered by: Freddie215 | Posted: 02-11-2021

Answer 7

Python has lists and dicts as 2 separate data structures. PHP mixes both into one. You should use dicts in this case.

Answered by: Tess889 | Posted: 02-11-2021

Answer 8

I did it like this:

def MyStruct(item1=0, item2=0, item3=0):
    """Return a new Position tuple."""
    class MyStruct(tuple):
        def item1(self):
            return self[0]
        def item2(self):
            return self[1]
        def item3(self):
            return self[2]
        # case where first argument a 3-tuple                               
        return MyStruct(item1)
        return MyStruct((item1, item2, item3))

I did it also a bit more complicate with list instead of tuple, but I had override the setter as well as the getter.

Anyways this allows:

    a = MyStruct(1,2,3)
    print a[0]==a.item1

Answered by: Lenny777 | Posted: 02-11-2021

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