call-by-reference (was Re: Any other Python flaws?)

David C. Ullrich ullrich at
Fri Jun 15 10:27:39 EDT 2001

On 15 Jun 2001 14:08:58 GMT, jcm <grumble at> wrote:

>Martijn Faassen <m.faassen at> wrote:
>> I agree that nobody agrees on whatever 'call-by-reference' means, or what
>> 'call-by-value' means. I mean, I'm here confused why you'd say C++ doesn't
>> support call-by-value while Python apparently does. :)
>In my experience, there's good agreement about what call-by-reference
>means just about everywhere but in newsgroups.  Python supports only
>call-by-value -- you can't change the value of a variable in your
>caller's scope (globals aside).

It's call-by-value all right. The confusion is caused
by the fact that the values are references. But passing
a reference "by value" is not a call by reference.

David C. Ullrich
"Sometimes you can have access violations all the 
time and the program still works." (Michael Caracena, 
comp.lang.pascal.delphi.misc 5/1/01)

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