Python Strings

Erik Max Francis max at
Tue Sep 5 19:32:13 CEST 2000

Jonadab the Unsightly One wrote:

> So, a Python string is essentially a dictionary word, then?

It depends on precisely what you mean by "dictionary word."  Python
strings are immutable; they can't be changed.  If you want to, say,
replace some characters in a string or add some on the end, you have to
create a new string.  Dictionary keys have to be immutable (because
changing the keys behind the data structure's back would be a bad
thing), and so since strings are immutable they can be used as
dictionary keys.  That is, they're immutable _so that_ they can serve as
dictionary keys, not because they _are_ them.

> Weird.  Coming from a language (Inform) which has separate
> data types for strings and dictionary words, BOTH of which
> are immutable, I'm starting to get curious about the other
> features of Python strings...  time to leave the ng and
> start reading the docs, I suppose...

Remember, though, that Inform is a very special purpose.  When using it
as a model for comparison with other languages, one should expect to
have strange reactions ("Weird"), as it is not your typical language.

 Erik Max Francis / max at /
 __ San Jose, CA, US / 37 20 N 121 53 W / ICQ16063900 / &tSftDotIotE
/  \ Every exit is an entry somewhere else.
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