Terminology: "reference" versus "pointer"

Ned Batchelder ned at nedbatchelder.com
Sun Sep 13 04:25:30 CEST 2015


On Saturday, September 12, 2015 at 10:23:24 PM UTC-4, Mark Lawrence wrote:
> On 13/09/2015 01:44, rurpy--- via Python-list wrote:
> > On 09/12/2015 06:02 PM, Ned Batchelder wrote:
> >> On Saturday, September 12, 2015 at 7:15:18 PM UTC-4, Mark Lawrence wrote:
> >> [...]
> >> But in C, pointers mean more than that.  You can perform arithmetic on
> >> them, to access memory as a linearly addressed abstraction.  Python has
> >> nothing like this.
> >>
> >> In C, a pointer can refer to another variable.  Again, Python has
> >> nothing like this.  Python names refer to values, but they cannot
> >> refer to other names.
> >>
> >> These last two reasons are why people say that Python does not have
> >> pointers.
> >>
> >> As a language concept, Python has no pointers, because you cannot have
> >> names referring to names, and because you cannot perform arithmetic on
> >> references.  The references from names to values are not things that can
> >> be manipulated themselves.
> >
> > The reason python doesn't have pointers is that the majority of developers
> > and documenters chose not to use the term.
> 
> Nonsense.
> 
> 
> You appear to have the same level of knowledge of Python internals as 
> the RUE has of the Python 3.3+ FSR unicode implementation.  Let's have 
> some fun, is Python pass by value or pass by reference?  It has to be 
> more interesting debating that than the drivel that's gone before in 
> this thread.

Mark, I'm sure you can be more respectful than this.

And let's please not start down the "PBV or PBR" road... :(

--Ned.


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