What is the meaning of [:] in python


What does the line del taglist[:] do in the code below?

import urllib
from bs4 import BeautifulSoup
url=raw_input("Enter URL: ")
count=int(raw_input("Enter count:"))
position=int(raw_input("Enter position:"))
for i in range(count):
    print "Retrieving:",url
    for tag in tags:
    url = taglist[position-1].get('href', None)
    del taglist[:]
print "Retrieving:",url

The question is “write a Python program that expands on http://www.pythonlearn.com/code/urllinks.py. The program will use urllib to read the HTML from the data files below, extract the href= vaues from the anchor tags, scan for a tag that is in a particular position relative to the first name in the list, follow that link and repeat the process a number of times and report the last name you find”.
Sample problem: Start at http://python-data.dr-chuck.net/known_by_Fikret.html
Find the link at position 3 (the first name is 1). Follow that link. Repeat this process 4 times. The answer is the last name that you retrieve.
Sequence of names: Fikret Montgomery Mhairade Butchi Anayah
Last name in sequence: Anayah

Asked By: Sourav



[:] is the array slice syntax for every element in the array.

This answer here goes more in depth of the general uses: Explain Python's slice notation

del arr # Deletes the array itself
del arr[:]  # Deletes all the elements in the array
del arr[2]  # Deletes the second element in the array
del arr[1:]  # etc..
Answered By: khazhyk