# Python Which of these codes do you think is the simplest

#### doktorwho

Since i don't know how to write code here on forums i will upload a picture and explain whats it about.
In the picture there are three codes that define the same procedure of finding the biggest number out of three given. The first code in the picture is defining a procedure called $biggest(x,y,z)$ and my friend and i agree that its the simplest one but it defines a procedure that is used in the given procedure to help the calculation. The second code is made by me and the third by my friend. We're kinda arguing whose is simpler and more elegant to use xD, what do you think?

Last edited by a moderator:
Related Programming and Computer Science News on Phys.org

#### phinds

Gold Member
I think if you only have 3 vars, it should be

biggest = max(max(x,y),z) or whatever construct is equivalent in whatever language you are using.

#### doktorwho

I think if you only have 3 vars, it should be

biggest = max(max(x,y),z) or whatever construct is equivalent in whatever language you are using.
Yeah i agree :-D, but the goal is to define a procedure and not use any built in, we are both beginners so that's why. We're using python :-D

#### Mark44

Mentor
Yeah i agree :-D, but the goal is to define a procedure and not use any built in, we are both beginners so that's why. We're using python :-D
Then use your bigger() function, following the idea that @phinds gave.

Since i don't know how to write code here on forums i will upload a picture and explain whats it about.
Posting an image of your code isn't very helpful. If you have an error, we can't insert a comment in your code. It's best to copy and paste the code directly into the page here, surrounding it with code tags.

Just like this:
[code=python]
Python:
def bigger(x, y):
if (x >= y):
return x
else:
return y
[/code]
(Since I have two sets of code tags, the outer set is not being rendered by the browser, due to some alterations I made. The inner set is causing the Python code to be displayed with different colors. When you do this, just use one set of tags.

#### A.T.

The second code is made by me and the third by my friend. We're kinda arguing whose is simpler and more elegant to use xD, what do you think?
Python:
def biggest(x,y,z) : return x if x > y and x > z else y if y > z else z

#### wle

If you're writing a function to find the maximum of more than two numbers as an exercise then you might as well make it work for any number of numbers.

In Python if you put *args in a function's argument list then Python will collect all the extra arguments into a tuple called args that you can access and use in your function (more info here and elsewhere on the web). For example, this function simply prints all the arguments it is called with:
Python:
def print_args(*arguments):
for arg in arguments:
print(arg)
You could similarly write a biggest function that identifies and returns the biggest argument it is called with.

Python:
def biggest(number, *more_numbers):
max_found = number
for n in more_numbers:
if n > max_found:
max_found = n
return max_found

#### jedishrfu

Mentor
Python:
def biggest(x,y,z):
return bigger(x,bigger(y,z))

Last edited:

#### doktorwho

Thanks i tried all and i think i like using the bigger function as i find it the simplest..:-)

#### A.T.

Thanks i tried all and i think i like using the bigger function as i find it the simplest..:-)
Also note that instead of 'x == False' you can write 'not x'.

#### .Scott

Homework Helper
Before I saw the Python label, I was thinking this (C):
#define biggest(x,y,z) ((x>y)?((x>z)?x:z):((y>z)?y:z))

#### jack action

Gold Member
I prefer biggest2, based on a performance point of view. With 2 comparisons you get your answer.

With biggest you need at least 3 comparisons, worst case scenario 4 comparisons (+ a function call).

With biggest1, you need at least 4 comparisons, worst case scenario 8 comparisons, before getting an answer!

"Which of these codes do you think is the simplest"

### Physics Forums Values

We Value Quality
• Topics based on mainstream science
• Proper English grammar and spelling
We Value Civility
• Positive and compassionate attitudes
• Patience while debating
We Value Productivity
• Disciplined to remain on-topic
• Recognition of own weaknesses
• Solo and co-op problem solving