Author mark.dickinson
Recipients liyu, mark.dickinson, mhammond, nzjrs
Date 2010-06-14.15:04:57
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Message-id <1276527900.63.0.467417701584.issue2981@psf.upfronthosting.co.za>
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I think you're misunderstanding how the 'p' format works.

> Otherwise, why people should use format 'p'?
> Either when you struct.pack or struct.unpack you have to know the size
> of string at first, why not turn to format 's'?

No;  you don't need to know the size of the string beforehand;  you just need to know the *maximum* size of the string;  the number of bytes allocated to store that string.  For example (Python 2.6):

>>> import struct
>>> s = struct.Struct('20p')  # variable-length string stored in 20 bytes
>>> s.pack('abc')
'\x03abc\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00'
>>> s.unpack(_)
('abc',)
>>> s.pack('abcdef')
'\x06abcdef\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00'
>>> s.unpack(_)
('abcdef',)

Note that the packed sizes are the same (20 bytes each time), but you can pack and unpack any (byte)string of length up to 19 bytes, without needing to know its length beforehand.

Handling true variable-length fields is really outside the scope of the struct module.
History
Date User Action Args
2010-06-14 15:05:00mark.dickinsonsetrecipients: + mark.dickinson, mhammond, nzjrs, liyu
2010-06-14 15:05:00mark.dickinsonsetmessageid: <1276527900.63.0.467417701584.issue2981@psf.upfronthosting.co.za>
2010-06-14 15:04:58mark.dickinsonlinkissue2981 messages
2010-06-14 15:04:57mark.dickinsoncreate