Python article in Free Software Magazine

Terry Hancock hancock at
Tue Jan 3 08:53:52 CET 2006

On Sun, 01 Jan 2006 09:33:09 -0600
Kirk Strauser <kirk at> wrote:
> You have fair points.  Unfortunately, though, the word
> length of the article just didn't provide enough space to
> go into the level of detail those subjects would have
> required.  I tried to compromise by giving the answer that
> most closely fit the situation without being exactly
> correct.

I find that it's not difficult to explain Python object
handling if you simply insist on the concept of "name
binding" instead of "variable assignment":

a = 1

in C puts the value "1" in the variable "a" as if it were a
box that can hold values, while in Python it tacks a virtual
sticky note "a" on the object "1".  I don't know anything
about Lisp, but I have gathered that Python's name-binding
behavior is conceptually similar to it.

Once you have this concept, most of the rest of Python's
behavior follows naturally.  Makes for a nice figure, too,
which Free Software Magazine needs more of.

Terry Hancock (hancock at
Anansi Spaceworks

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