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
Return an iterator object. The object is required to support the
iterator protocol described below. If a container supports
different types of iteration, additional methods can be provided to
specifically request iterators for those iteration types. (An
example of an object supporting multiple forms of iteration would be
a tree structure which supports both breadth-first and depth-first
traversal.) This method corresponds to the tp_iter slot of
the type structure for Python objects in the Python/C API.
The iterator objects themselves are required to support the following
two methods, which together form the iterator protocol:
Return the iterator object itself. This is required to allow both
containers and iterators to be used with the for and
in statements. This method corresponds to the
tp_iter slot of the type structure for Python objects in
the Python/C API.
Return the next item from the container. If there are no further
items, raise the StopIteration exception. This method
corresponds to the tp_iternext slot of the type structure
for Python objects in the Python/C API.
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.