Is Python type safe?

Skip Montanaro skip at
Tue Mar 16 23:31:11 CET 2004

    >> Sorry to follow up to my own post, but unions also create type
    >> unsafety.

    Roy> Of course you can.  Given C's roots as a high level assembly
    Roy> language, why would you expect anything else?

Nope.  But the user asked if C++ was type safe.  The presence of unions
indicates that it's not, at least in some situations.

    Roy> I was once asked on an interview how I would tell, inside of a C
    Roy> program, if I was on a big endian or a small endian machine.  I
    Roy> said I'd create a union of a long and a char[4], set the long equal
    Roy> to 1, and see which char it showed up in.  The interviewer looked
    Roy> shocked, thought about it for a while, and finally said something
    Roy> like, "yeah, I guess that would work".

Sure.  There are plenty of reasons to use unions.  They can be a
double-edged sword though.


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