Why are tuples immutable?

Antoon Pardon apardon at forel.vub.ac.be
Thu Dec 23 16:46:34 CET 2004

Op 2004-12-23, Scott David Daniels schreef <Scott.Daniels at Acm.Org>:
> Antoon Pardon wrote:
>> Op 2004-12-22, Jeff Shannon schreef <jeff at ccvcorp.com>:
>>>The problem is that once the object has mutated, you *don't know* what 
>>>bucket it used to sort into.  There is no point at which a dictionary 
>>>can see "before" and "after" -- it just sees two different lists.
> This is half the problem.  In the period where an element is in the
> wrong hash bucket, a new entry for the same value can be created in
> the proper hash bucket.  Then the code will have to determine how to
> merge two entries at rehash time.

But similar problems can happen in a sorted list, where the sort
is done on a "key" of the data and where you don't want duplicate

If you then mutate a "key", it may be possible to insert a duplicate
"key" in the sorted list because the list isn't sorted anymore. If
you then resort your list you also have to determine how to merge
the two items with the same "key"

This just to show that repairing sorted lists can be just as
troublesome as repairing dictionaries. People who think 
sorted lists of mutable objects is less bothersome as dictionaries
with mutable keys, haven't thought things through IMO.

Antoon Pardon

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