Variables vs. names

Michael Chermside mcherm at
Wed Sep 11 21:07:08 CEST 2002

Joseph A. Knapka wrote:
> Are there languages that
> achieve Python's semantics using "real"
> variables? Java's semantics seem pretty much
> identical to Python's in this respect, yet
> nobody in the Java community will object if
> you call a thing-with-a-name-and-a-value a
> "variable".

I can't answer your other questions, but I may have some insight on this 
one. I agree that the semantics are basically the same (at least for 
Java objects). But Java doesn't have the ability to access a namespace 
as a dictionary ( locals(), globals(), .__dict__, etc ). Also, people 
who talk about Java have a certain tendency to treat Java as the 
One-True-Way for a language to work, while people who talk about Python 
try to place it in context of other languages.

Of course, maybe there are more concrete reasons that I'm missing.

-- Michael Chermside

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