[Edu-sig] Edu-sig Digest, Vol 39, Issue 2
pgries at cs.toronto.edu
Tue Oct 3 19:31:09 CEST 2006
On Oct 3, 2006, at 12:50 AM, Scott David Daniels wrote:
> kirby urner wrote:
>> Scott mentioned our not being able to see how many handles a mug has,
>> but with the sys module we can: ....
> Perhaps I said that, but what I _meant_ was that you could see the
> handles. In my mind, at least, there is a huge difference between
> seeing the handles (what is this value's name?) and knowing how
> many there are. I just don't know a nifty concrete-world analog
> to that. The Library of Congress idea (too flawed, I agree) was
> neat because objects (books) could become "lost" without a librarian
> noticing. Then on to: "Well, if there were a count, and, ......"
I use a street metaphor. (Which is where some of the lingo comes
from anyway, isn't it?) As a quick summary, houses are areas in
memory and each has a unique address; people (variables) know the
house they live in; a person's value is just the address of their
house; x = y makes x live in the same house as y, and they can
rummage in each other's personal belongings; deep copies are a lot of
work; the contents of a house are accessible only to people who have
the address; the number of people living in a house isn't immediately
obvious; and when everybody moves out of the house, all the leftover
stuff gets garbage collected.
Oh, and if you've talked about hardware at all you can make jokes
about carrying things about on the bus.
Other similar things I've tried: warehouses with storage locations,
apartment buildings, and offices. Those didn't seem to work as well,
but I tried them early on before I settled on streets; maybe they'd
work out better today.
Senior Lecturer, Dept. of Computer Science
University of Toronto
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