Learn how I found over +10,000 bugs in Python code all over GitHub and how all those bugs could have been fixed by importing the Python module string and using the constants ascii_lowercase and ascii_uppercase.

Finding the bugs

Yesterday, or two days ago, I was sitting down at my desk and doing some Python work. Then, all of a sudden, I thought “No... It can't be... Can it?”...

Immediately, I opened the GitHub search and typed a search query... And immediately got 1,059 search results back, which means approximately 1,000 bugs.

And this was just one query. 25 search queries later, I had found over 10,000 bugs in Python code all over GitHub.

What bug am I talking about?

Misspelling the alphabet!

At the time of writing, there are over 10,000 occurrences of misspelt Latin alphabets! Isn't that a shame? Of all the intricacies and subtleties of Python, your code will be buggy because you forgot a letter?

Fixing the bugs with the string constants

The Python module string contains many useful constants that you can use. Here are some of them:

ASCII letters in Python

If you need the 26 ASCII letters in Python, consider using the constants from the module string. Use ascii_lowercase for the lowercase letters, ascii_uppercase for the uppercase letters, and ascii_letters for the lowercase and uppercase letters combined:

>>> import string
>>> string.ascii_lowercase
>>> string.ascii_uppercase
>>> string.ascii_letters

string constants for digits

The module string also contains three constants that contain the digits of numbers written in the decimal, hexadecimal, and octal systems:

>>> import string
>>> string.digits
>>> string.hexdigits
>>> string.octdigits

Other useful string constants

Just for the sake of completeness, let me tell you that the module string also has constants that contain all whitespace characters, all ASCII punctuation characters, and then a constant with all the ASCII characters that are printable:

>>> import string
>>> string.whitespace
' \t\n\r\x0b\x0c'
>>> string.punctuation
>>> string.printable
'0123456789abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyzABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ!"#$%&\'()*+,-./:;<=>?@[\\]^_`{|}~ \t\n\r\x0b\x0c'

I hope you learned something new! If you did, consider following the footsteps of the readers who bought me a slice of pizza 🍕. Your small contribution helps me produce this content for free and without spamming you with annoying ads.


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