Python – Why does this python dictionary get created out of order using setdefault()

dictionary, for-loop, python, setdefault

I'm just starting to play around with Python (VBA background). Why does this dictionary get created out of order? Shouldn't it be a:1, b:2…etc.?

class Card:def county(self):    c = 0    l = 0    groupL = {}  # groupL for Loop    for n in range(0,13):        c += 1        l = chr(n+97)        groupL.setdefault(l,c)    return groupLpick_card = Card()group = pick_card.county()print group

here's the output:

{'a': 1, 'c': 3, 'b': 2, 'e': 5, 'd': 4, 'g': 7, 'f': 6, 'i': 9, 'h': 8, 'k': 11, 'j': 10, 'm': 13, 'l': 12}

or, does it just get printed out of order?

Best Solution

Dictionaries have no order in python. In other words, when you iterate over a dictionary, the order that the keys/items are "yielded" is not the order that you put them into the dictionary. (Try your code on a different version of python and you're likely to get differently ordered output). If you want a dictionary that is ordered, you need a collections.OrderedDict which wasn't introduced until python 2.7. You can find equivalent recipes on ActiveState if you're using an older version of python. However, often it's good enough to just sort the items (e.g. sorted(mydict.items()).

EDIT as requested, an OrderedDict example:

from collections import OrderedDictgroupL = OrderedDict()  # groupL for Loopc = 0for n in range(0,13):    c += 1    l = chr(n+97)    groupL.setdefault(l,c)print (groupL)