Lists implemented as integer-hashed Dictionaries?

Gabriel Genellina gagsl-py2 at
Sun Feb 8 19:48:24 CET 2009

En Sat, 07 Feb 2009 01:18:37 -0200, er <erobererunc at> escribió:

> Somebody much more intelligent than I said today that someone told him  
> that Python lists are just dictionaries with lists hashed by integers.

In addition to all other responses you received, I'd add that lists and  
dictionaries share the same syntax a[x] and the same magic methods in  
Python code (__getitem__, __setitem__, __delitem__). But the similarity  
stops here. The CPython implementation has two different sets of methods,  
one for sequences and other for mappings, so when you override e.g.  
__getitem__ in Python code it replaces either sq_item or mp_subscript  
depending on which one is defined.

Other implementations might choose to do different, but at least on  
standard PC hardware I can't imagine how to efficiently implement lists as  

Gabriel Genellina

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