Python supports a concept of iteration over containers. This is implemented using two distinct methods; these are used to allow user-defined classes to support iteration. Sequences, described below in more detail, always support the iteration methods.
One method needs to be defined for container objects to provide iteration support:
The iterator objects themselves are required to support the following two methods, which together form the iterator protocol:
Python defines several iterator objects to support iteration over general and specific sequence types, dictionaries, and other more specialized forms. The specific types are not important beyond their implementation of the iterator protocol.
The intention of the protocol is that once an iterator's next() method raises StopIteration, it will continue to do so on subsequent calls. Implementations that do not obey this property are deemed broken. (This constraint was added in Python 2.3; in Python 2.2, various iterators are broken according to this rule.)
Python's generators provide a convenient way to implement the iterator protocol. If a container object's __iter__() method is implemented as a generator, it will automatically return an iterator object (technically, a generator object) supplying the __iter__() and next() methods.
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