Python Metalanguage confusticates and bebothers me...

Stephen Hansen stephen at
Thu Sep 7 07:28:41 CEST 2000

Umm... 'dictionary' is a nicer way of describing what is going on then
'associative arrays'. You have Words, with Definitions, in a 
one-to-one or one-to-many relationship. That's what a dictionary
is. Look at HTML's 'definition lists'.

And, Tuples are defined as a data object of two or more components.

You see, Python has three kinds of arrays. To make things easier
to understand, they are each called something distinct, and not
'immutable arrays', 'mutable dynamic-lengthed arrays' and
'associative arrays'. They're 'tuples', 'lists', and 'dictionaries'.

Isn't that easier to understand?


In article <39b5942f.11001184 at>, jonadab at
(Jonadab the Unsightly One) wrote:

> Python itself is okay (well, so far anyway).  But the  metalanguage --
> the terminology used to discuss features  of the language -- is weirding
> me out.  "Dictionaries" aren't dictionaries at all, they're associative
> arrays.
> "Tuples" don't necessarily have three elements.  I 
> suppose once I get used to this stuff it'll be okay... but it reminds me
> of Reinhold Neibuhr.
> - jonadab

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