What is the output of this code snippet?
# this is the first comment
spam = 1 # and this is the second comment
# … and now a third!
text = “# Is this a comment?”
This puzzle introduces two basic concepts.
- First, variables can hold strings. In fact, variables can hold any data type. The interpreter determines the data type of a variable at runtime. The data type of a variable can change: you can assign a string to a variable, followed by an integer.
- Second, comments in the code start with the hash character
#and end with the start of the next line. Comments are important to improve readability of your code.
The small twist in this puzzle is the question whether the hash character within the string literal starts a new comment.
This is not the case as there are only two positions for a comment. First, at the beginning of a line. Second, after whitespace or code. But a comment cannot appear within a string.
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# Is this a comment?
While working as a researcher in distributed systems, Dr. Christian Mayer found his love for teaching computer science students.
To help students reach higher levels of Python success, he founded the programming education website Finxter.com that has taught exponential skills to millions of coders worldwide. He’s the author of the best-selling programming books Python One-Liners (NoStarch 2020), The Art of Clean Code (NoStarch 2022), and The Book of Dash (NoStarch 2022). Chris also coauthored the Coffee Break Python series of self-published books. He’s a computer science enthusiast, freelancer, and owner of one of the top 10 largest Python blogs worldwide.
His passions are writing, reading, and coding. But his greatest passion is to serve aspiring coders through Finxter and help them to boost their skills. You can join his free email academy here.