Is Python type safe?

Erik Max Francis max at
Wed Mar 17 02:34:38 CET 2004

Roy Smith wrote:

> I can't believe I forgot about that!

Well, pointer arithmetic is certainly a different class of operations
than was being talked about here, so literally it's true that you can
perform the addition but semantically it has a totally different and
unrelated meaning than addition between strings and integers in other

> Of course, if we're going to
> play
> those games, there's always:
> Roy-Smiths-Computer:play$ cat sub.c
> main ()
> {
>     printf ("%d\n", "eight" - "sixteen");
>     exit (0);
> }
> Roy-Smiths-Computer:play$ ./sub
> -8

Cute, but this actually invokes undefined behavior.  Pointer difference
is only meaningful when you're subtracting two pointers that both
reference the same (possibly aggregate) object (or one past the end of
the array).  It happens to give some weird number here; according to the
Standard the program could reasonably crash (and on, say, segmented
architectures, it's far more likely something bizarre would happen).

 __ Erik Max Francis && max at &&
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