why cannot assign to function call

Hendrik van Rooyen mail at microcorp.co.za
Wed Jan 7 09:20:43 CET 2009

"Mark Wooding" <m....w at distorted.org.uk> wrote:

> A better analogy.  The objects are scattered across the floor.  No
> object is contained in another.  However, we have a plentiful supply of
> bits of string, each of which is tied to a Teflon-covered paperweight at
> one end and has a blob of Blu-Tack on the other.  Instead of putting
> something in a box directly, what we do is grab a piece of string, stick
> the Blu-Tack to the thing, and put the paperweight in the box.  This
> way, we can stick several bits of string to the same object and put the
> paperweights in different boxes.  Indeed, nothing stops us sticking two
> bits of string to a box, and putting both paperweights inside that same
> box.  But fitting a box into itself twice requires origami skills that
> frighten me.
> The Teflon stops the Blu-Tack from sticking to the paperweights, 'cos
> you're not allowed to do that.  
> There's a daemon who comes around periodically and cleans up the mess of
> paperweights which aren't in boxes, and tidies away things which don't
> have any string stuck to them any more, but really he's just an
> implementation detail and you wouldn't need him if your floor was big
> enough and you had enough bits of sufficiently long string.


This is the nicest analogy I have seen,
and it seems to completely account
for all the observed effects.

The only other one that comes close
is Dennis L Bieber's "Wandering Names".

I propose that we name the garbage
collection demon "Steven" because
he has IMO lost this argument, and
therefore deserves to spend eternity
tied up in string.


- Hendrik

With the disappearance of the gas mantle and the advent
of the short circuit, man's tranquillity began to be threatened
by everything he put his hand on.
(James Thurber.  First sentence of Sex ex Machina)

More information about the Python-list mailing list