[Edu-sig] Talking about "Handles"

Scott David Daniels Scott.Daniels at Acm.Org
Tue Oct 3 00:08:41 CEST 2006

kirby urner wrote:
> We say "reference" a lot when talking about a variable's relationship
> to a piece of memory.  I'm thinking "handle" could be used more
> (optionally -- this is not an instruction) and we could even show a
> coffee cup (doesn't have to be coffee -- a mug) with two handles, when
> explaing how two (or more) variables may have the same "contents" (a
> feature, but also a source of bugs, confusions for beginners).

This metaphor may be good for references, but not for Python.  You are
left with the intuition that you can look at the mug and enumerate the
handles.  Maybe a an object is a living thing with lasers shining on it
(referring to it), that may shrivel up and die if it gets no light.

-- Scott David Daniels
Scott.Daniels at Acm.Org

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