[Python-Dev] Slice as a copy... by design?

Scott Dial scott+python-dev at scottdial.com
Thu May 22 18:22:53 CEST 2008

Facundo Batista wrote:

> I couldn't answer why, so I'm asking here...Is it because the
> reference counting will be complicated? Is it because it'd be
> inefficient in other way? It's something else? Or is something that
> could be done... but is not done yet?

If we changed Python to slice-by-reference, then tomorrow someone would 
be asking why it isn't slice-by-copy. There are pros and cons to both 
that are dependent on your application. It's not hard to imagine 
applications where you want to hold onto a small portion of a large 
string, thereby forcing the entire string to remain in memory. If a 
slices had a copy method, then I suppose this would be moot.


Scott Dial
scott at scottdial.com
scodial at cs.indiana.edu

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