Python `if x is not None` or `if not x is None`?

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I’ve always thought of the if not x is None version to be more clear, but Google’s style guide and PEP-8 both use if x is not None. Are there any minor performance differences (I’m assuming not), and is there any case where one really doesn’t fit (making the other a clear winner for my convention)?*

*I’m referring to any singleton, rather than just None.

…to compare singletons like
None. Use is or is not.


Solution

There’s no performance difference, as they compile to the same bytecode:

>>> import dis
>>> dis.dis("not x is None")
  1           0 LOAD_NAME                0 (x)
              2 LOAD_CONST               0 (None)
              4 COMPARE_OP               9 (is not)
              6 RETURN_VALUE
>>> dis.dis("x is not None")
  1           0 LOAD_NAME                0 (x)
              2 LOAD_CONST               0 (None)
              4 COMPARE_OP               9 (is not)
              6 RETURN_VALUE

Stylistically, I try to avoid not x is y, a human reader might misunderstand it as (not x) is y. If I write x is not y then there is no ambiguity.

Source: StackOverflow.com

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