Collections of non-arbitrary objects ?

walterbyrd walterbyrd at
Tue Jun 26 15:15:04 CEST 2007

> > On Jun 24, 10:31 pm, Bruno Desthuilliers
> > <bdesth.quelquech... at> wrote:
> You perhaps don't know this, but most statically typed languages have
> the notion of either pointers or references, that can cause similar -
> and usually worse - problems.

Yes, but those languages also have the notion of structures that do
not allow arbitrary collections. That is what I was wondering about
when I started the thread. It's fine that python has four different
ways of creating collections of arbitrary data types, but I thought it
might be helpful if python had, at least, one way of a creating a
collection of non-arbitrary data.

> You do program carefully, don't you ?-)

I try. But things like typos are a normal part a life.

> Now did you actually had any effective problem with Python's dynamism ?
> Or are you just scared ?

Just scared.

 > You know, Python is now something like 17 years old, and is used by
> *lot* of peoples for a *lot* of programs - some of them far from
> trivial. I think you can be confident in this experience. IOW, just
> write your code, and you'll find out that the kind of problems you seem
> to fear so much will not happens that often.

Of course, BASIC is over 40 years old, also used by a *lot* of people.
A lot of non-trivial apps have been written in BASIC. But, BASIC is
often criticized for it's lack of structure. A language's longevity,
and/or popularity, don't mean there isn't room for improvement. Guido
must think python has a lot of room for improvement since he's
completely throwing out backward compatibility with python 3000.

> You don't use tuples "instead of" lists. Lists are collections, tuples
> are structured data.

It seems to me that tuple are essentially immutable lists. So why
impose that immutability restriction on a data collection? Why not
just have lists and not tuples? What can a tuple do that a list can
not do? Why was python designed so that tuples could be used for
dictionary indexes, but not lists? Could it be because imposing that
restriction on a data collection insures a certain degree of
integrity? My point is: sometimes imposing some restrictions can give
a degree in built-in integrity. Maybe you don't need that integrity
insurance, if you code carefully enough, but can you always count on

BTW: I'm not assuming that it will always be me running my own app.
Sure, if an exception occureed while I was running my own app, I'd
probably know what to do. But if somebody else (who - god forbid -
didn't know python was running the app, things might be more difficult.

More information about the Python-list mailing list