Tom Anderson twic at
Tue Dec 13 16:28:32 CET 2005

On Tue, 13 Dec 2005, Steven D'Aprano wrote:

> On Mon, 12 Dec 2005 18:51:36 -0600, Larry Bates wrote:
> [snippidy-doo-dah]
>> I had the same thought, but reread the post.  He asks "if a given 
>> variable is a character or a number".  I figured that even if he is 
>> coming from another language he knows the difference between "a given 
>> variable" and the "contents of a give variable".  I guess we will 
>> see.... ;-).  This list is so good, he gets BOTH questions answered.
> The problem is, Python doesn't have variables (although it is 
> oh-so-tempting to use the word, I sometimes do myself). It has names in 
> namespaces, and objects.

In what sense are the names-bound-to-references-to-objects not variables?

> It be a subtle difference, but an important one.

No, it's just spin, bizarre spin for which i can see no reason. Python has 

> That's why, for instance, Python is neither call by reference nor call 
> by value, it is call by object.

No, python is call by value, and it happens that all values are pointers. 
Just like java, but without the primitive types, and like LISP, and like a 
load of other languages. Python's parameter passing is NO DIFFERENT to 
that in those languages, and those languages are ALL described as 
call-by-value, so to claim that python does not use call-by-reference but 
some random new 'call-by-object' convention is incorrect, unneccessary, 
confusing and silly.


I'm sure this has been argued over many times here, and we still 
all have our different ideas, so please just ignore this post!


So the moon is approximately 24 toasters from Scunthorpe.

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