anything like C++ references?

Adam Ruth owski at
Wed Jul 16 20:39:15 CEST 2003

In <donn-6E63A0.10284316072003 at> Donn Cave  wrote:
> In article <20030716081156943-0600 at>,
>  Adam Ruth <owski at> wrote:
>> In <1058328099.572993 at yasure> Donn Cave wrote:
>> > Quoth Adam Ruth <owski at>:
>> > ....
>> >| In Python, there is no situation where "you really can't avoid 
>> >| pointers".  
>> > 
>> > That's trivially true, no such situation can exist because that
>> > Python can't be coded.  I'll repeat an example that I proposed
>> > a couple days ago, though:  user implemented sequences could be
>> > implemented with a single simple indexing function, returning
>> > a pointer/target/whatever;  Python could assign directly to that,
>> > making "seq[i] = x" the same kind of operation as and automatically
>> > symmetrical with "x = seq[i]".
>> > 
>> > It can't be done without pointers, as far as I can see.  You may 
>> > not care if it can be done, but I think you'd agree that "there is 
>> > no situation that I care about where you really can't avoid 
>> > pointers" would be kind of a lame version of your assertion.  	Donn 
>> > Cave, donn at 
>> I did a quick google search and couldn't find the thread you're 
>> referring to.  Could you summarize it for me? It sounds interesting.  
>> I  do so love the taste of my foot in my mouth.
> output=gp lain

<snip description of getitem/setitem>

> Really I think that's the main point.  There are some useful
> and relevant features that Python doesn't have and will never
> have, and that's OK.  The real limitation of any programming
> language tends to be its external interfaces - if you really
> can't write a decent web browser in FORTRAN-IV, that's probably
> the real reason, not any fundamental limitation of the language.
> That doesn't mean FORTRAN-IV is a good language, it means that
> its badness can't be expressed in terms of fundamental limitations,
> so this question of whether you "really need" something tends to
> make a poor basis for discussion.
>    Donn Cave, donn at

You are correct, 'really need' is not much of an argument.  The 
statement I disagreed with was that it was bad to simulate pointers in 
those situations where "you really can't avoid pointers".  I was 
expressing that really aren't any such situations, and that it's even 
worse try to simulate pointers when it's not really necessary.

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