Addressing the last element of a list

Donn Cave donn at u.washington.edu
Thu Nov 10 22:16:19 CET 2005


In article <863bm46zbh.fsf at bhuda.mired.org>, Mike Meyer <mwm at mired.org> 
wrote:
...
> Most OO languages do the name/variable thing, but some of the popular
> ones aren't consistent about it, giving some types "special" status,
> so that sometimes "a = b" causes b to be copied onto a, and sometimes
> it causes a to become a pointer to b. I find a consistent approach is
> preferable.

Who wouldn't.

> Most OO languages also have the mutable/immutable object thing. The
> set of which objects are immutable changes from language to
> language. It's really only relevant in this case because the solution
> to "I want to change an alias" issue involves using a mutable object.

Yes, and furthermore it's only vaguely relevant.  I mean,
it really requires a particular kind of mutability, where one
object can store a reference to another.  That's easy to find
in core object types, and of course it is a kind of mutability,
but it isn't the definition of mutable.

So we drag out this terminology, that neither clearly nor
accurately describes the functionality we have in mind,
and then we make some vague or even wrong statement about
its relationship to the issue.  It has been going on for
years, usually I believe from people who understand quite
well how it really works.

   Donn Cave, donn at u.washington.edu



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