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What's an elegant way to test for list index existing?

On Friday, September 28, 2018 at 11:03:17 AM UTC-7, Chris Green wrote:
> I have a list created by:-
>     fld = shlex.split(ln)
> It may contain 3, 4 or 5 entries according to data read into ln.
> What's the neatest way of setting the fourth and fifth entries to an
> empty string if they don't (yet) exist? Using 'if len(fld) < 4:' feels
> clumsy somehow.

How about this?

from itertools import chain, repeat
temp = shlex.split(ln)
fld = list(chain(temp, repeat("", 5-len(temp))))