Python internals

Peter Anderson peter.anderson at
Wed Jul 16 08:39:25 CEST 2008

Ben Finney wrote:
> Larry Bates <larry.bates at`> writes:
> The term "pointer" carries much extra baggage for a programmer
> thinking of C (as the original poster is)...

Thanks everyone!  Just a quick correction - "as the original poster is" 
is a bit of a jump that does not reflect my original question. I DO 
understand how C and other programming languages handle variables 
internally (the bits of actual memory reserved, etc. etc.) and that's 
why I asked the question in the first place.

If Python doesn't do it like C and the others then what mechanism does 
it use - it's the sort of issue that helps me understand how the 
language is interacting with the underlying operating system/hardware.

By way of background, in my ancient working days I looked after 
mainframe systems written in COBOL and Natural (and some assembler which 
I never had to support personally but my staff did).  I found that most 
programmers write bad code because they don't understand what the 
machine is doing with their code.  Probably doesn't matter any more but 
old habits die hard! ;-)

Peter Anderson

There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to 
conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the 
introduction of a new order of things -- Niccolo Machiavelli, The 
Prince, ch. 6

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