Ranges are like intervals in mathematics. They have a start and end. Every value between the enpoints is included in the range. Integer ranges (intrange) will be used for all examples. Built in range types are listed in Available range types.

A simple range:

>>> span = intrange(1, 5)
>>> span.lower
>>> span.upper

By default all ranges include all elements from and including lower up to but not including upper. This means that the last element included in the discrete intrange is 4.

>>> intrange(1, 5).last

Non discrete ranges, such as floatrange, do not have the property last last.

Discrete ranges are always normalized, while normal ranges are not.

>>> intrange(1, 5, upper_inc=True)
intrange(1, 6)
>>> floatrange(1.0, 5.0, upper_inc=True)
floatrange(1.0, 5.0, upper_inc=True)

Ranges support set operations such as union, difference and intersection.

>>> intrange(1, 5).union(intrange(5, 10))
intrange(1, 10)
>>> intrange(1, 10).difference(intrange(5, 15))
intrange(1, 5)
>>> intrange(1, 10).intersection(intrange(5, 15))
intrange(5, 10)

Unions and differences that would result in two sets will result in a ValueError. To perform such operations Range sets must be used.

>>> intrange(1, 5).union(intrange(10, 15))
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "<stdin>", line 1, in <module>
ValueError: Ranges must be either adjacent or overlapping


This behavior is for consistency with PostgreSQL.

Available range types

The following range types are built in:

Range sets

Range sets are sets of intervals, where each element must be represented by one and only one range. Range sets are the solution to the problem when an operation will result in two separate ranges.

>>> intrangeset([intrange(1, 5), intrange(10, 15)])
intrangeset([intrange(1, 5), intrange(10, 15)])

Like ranges, range sets support union, difference and intersection. Contrary to Python’s built in sets these operations do not modify the range set in place. Instead it returns a new set. Unchanged ranges are reused to conserve memory since ranges are immutable.

Range sets are however mutable structures. To modify an existing set in place the add and remove methods are used.

>>> span = intrangeset([intrange(1, 5)])
>>> span.add(intrange(5, 10))
>>> span
intrangeset([intrange(1, 10)])
>>> span.remove(intrange(3, 7))
>>> span
intrangeset([intrange(1, 3), intrange(7, 10)])