Finding the instance reference of an object
joe at strout.net
Wed Nov 19 19:28:25 CET 2008
On Nov 19, 2008, at 11:05 AM, Douglas Alan wrote:
> Personally, I find this whole debate kind of silly, as it is based on
> a completely fallacious either/or dichotomy.
> (1) It is unarguably true that Python and Java use a type of
> call-by-value. This follows from the standard definition of
> call-by-value, and common usage in, for example, the Scheme and
> Java communities, etc.
> (2) It is also unarguably true that saying that Python or Java use
> "call-by-value", and saying nothing more is going to be profoundly
> confusing to anyone who is learning these languages.
Perhaps (unless they've already learned this from one of the other
> Q. How do we generally solve this problem when speaking?
> A. We invent more specific terms and then generally stick to the more
> specific terms when the more general terms would be misleading.
> Q. What is Greg?
> A. Greg is a human being.
> Q. What type of calling semantics do Python and Java use?
> A. Call-by-sharing.
Fair enough, but if the questioner then says "WTF is call-by-sharing,"
we should answer "call-by-sharing is the term we prefer for call-by-
value in the case where the value is an object reference (as is always
the case in Python)."
> I assert that anyone who does not understand all of the above, is
> helping to spread confusion.
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