python list handling and Lisp list handling

Steven D'Aprano steve at
Sun Apr 26 09:28:11 CEST 2009

On Sat, 25 Apr 2009 23:51:18 -0700, namekuseijin wrote:

> On Apr 26, 1:31 am, Steven D'Aprano <st... at REMOVE-THIS-
>> wrote:
>> On Fri, 24 Apr 2009 21:01:10 -0700, Carl Banks wrote:
>> > That's because Python lists aren't lists.
>> Surely you meant to say that Lisp lists aren't lists?
>> It-all-depends-on-how-you-define-lists-ly y'rs,
> Yeah, the List Processing language got it all wrong by not going with
> arrays like Python...

Well, Lisp was invented in 1958, before anyone knew how to program *wink*.

Seriously though, linked lists are not the only sort of list. That was my 
point: first define what is a list, and then we can debate what is or 
isn't a list. Even within linked lists, there are various different 
types, all with their own strengths and weaknesses: singly-linked lists, 
doubly-linked lists, circular lists, open lists, xor-lists, lists with or 
without sentinels, lists with internal and external storage, unrolled 
linked lists, and combinations of all of the above.


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