Python internals

MRAB google at
Wed Jul 16 00:11:43 CEST 2008

On Jul 15, 2:50 pm, Peter Anderson <peter.ander... at>
> Hi!  I am slowly teaching myself Python.  I was reading David Beazley's
> excellent book "Python - Essential Reference"; in particular about
> variables.  Let me quote:
> "Python is a dynamically typed language in which names can represent
> values of different types during the execution of a program. In fact the
> names used in the program are really just labels for various quantities
> and objects. The assignment operator simply creates an association
> between a name and a value. This is different from C, for example, in
> which a name (variable) represents a fixed size and location in memory..."
> As an old mainframe programmer, I understand the way C does things with
> variable but this text got me wondering how Python handles this
> "association" between variable name and value at the lower level.  Is it
> like a fifo list?
> If there is any Python guru that can help I would be most interested in
> your thoughts.
They're stored in a dictionary (hash table), called a "dict" in
Python, the name being the key and the value being a reference to the
actual value. The CPython implementation is written in C (hence the
name) and implements references with pointers.

More information about the Python-list mailing list