Modifying Class Object

Alf P. Steinbach alfps at
Sun Feb 14 08:40:50 CET 2010

* Steven D'Aprano:
> On Sat, 13 Feb 2010 21:33:50 -0800, Steve Howell wrote:
>> You seem to be missing the point that "curly braces" is a concrete
>> term that very specifically applies to spelling.
> And you seem to be missing the point that "pointer" is also a concrete 
> term that very specifically applies to, well, pointers.
> [...]
>> I agree that "reference" is a much better term than "pointer.". It has
>> the right amount of generalness in my opinion. I think "violence" is a
>> bit overstated, but your bigger point is well taken and it seems like
>> "reference" is useful middle ground between pure cpython language and
>> misrepresentative analogy.
> But reference also has a concrete meaning: C++ has a type explicitly 
> called "reference":
> And of course call-by-reference (or pass-by-reference) has a specific, 
> technical meaning.


Consider your argument about "reference" being possible to confuse with "pass by 
reference" in the light of "pass by name", used by Algol, <url:>.

Oops, to consistently remove all possible ambiguity the term "name" can't be 
used about formal arguments.

I think, even though "pass by name" is much less well known than "pass by 
reference", this indicates that it's not practically possible to remove all 
possible ambiguity.

I think some Common Sense(TM) must in any case be assumed, and applied.


- Alf

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