Finding the instance reference of an object [long and probably boring]

Arnaud Delobelle arnodel at
Mon Nov 10 21:45:24 CET 2008

Aaron Brady <castironpi at> writes:

> Do you ever say to someone, "'Napoleon' will no longer refer to
> Nelson.  It is this lobster now instead", while you are holding a
> lobster?

Not explicitly.  But in the course of conversation I might refer to
Napoleon, meaning Napoleon Bonaparte (1769 - 1821) or Napoleon III (1808
- 1873).  There would then be an implicit 'rebinding' of the name Napoleon.

> My point is that the assignment operation is rare in natural language.

My point was to get away from a model for Python which was built on its
likely implementation and to hint that we can build one using the naive
concept of 'name for a thing' instead.  IOW, 'call by value' is an
unnecessary obfuscation of what *actually* happens (even though it may
describe accurately the artifacts employed by an implementation)

I'm glad that you thought about it!


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