Python Metalanguage confusticates and bebothers me...
xyzmats at laplaza.org
Sun Sep 17 22:59:15 CEST 2000
On Wed, 06 Sep 2000 22:28:41 -0700, "Stephen Hansen"
<stephen at cerebralmaelstrom.com> wrote:
>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?
Maybe...or maybe not. I prefer the terminology that's actually used,
though. Python provides some fundamental datatypes for common
operations (and sure, this list can be extended). One group of those
is sequence types: the term "sequence" implies order. In that group
we have lists, tuples and strings. If you want to think of a list as
an array, fine, but the term "array" always implies (to me) that the
elements must be of the same type. Another is mapping types: that's
dictionaries, where a key maps you to the associated data field;
there's no "order" implied here.
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