Nested functions, how do they work (stack related)

Veek M vek.m1234 at
Tue Dec 13 03:47:24 EST 2016

Veek M wrote:

> I was reading the wiki on 'Call stack' because I wanted to understand
> what a traceback object was. My C/C++ isn't good enough to deal with
> raw python source since I have no background in CS. Also, you just
> can't dive into the python src - it takes a good deal of reading and
> background.. (the types will be confusing for a start)
> 'Programming languages that support nested subroutines also have a
> field in the call frame that points to the stack frame of the latest
> activation of the procedure that most closely encapsulates the callee,
> i.e. the immediate scope of the callee. This is called an access link
> or static link (as it keeps track of static nesting during dynamic and
> recursive calls) and provides the routine (as well as any other
> routines it may invoke) access to the local data of its encapsulating
> routines at every nesting level.
> Some architectures, compilers, or optimization cases store one link
> for each enclosing level (not just the immediately enclosing), so that
> deeply nested routines that access shallow data do not have to
> traverse several links; this strategy is often called a "display".'
> 1. What is the difference between a 'call frame' and a 'stack frame'
> in the above context? I know that a stack frame is all the data
> related to one - CALL foo;
> 2. He's saying that within the 'call frame' (whatever that is) there's
> an address to one of the previous stack frames of the wrapper function
> ? What does all that mean in terms of nested functions? Access link?
> How are nested function stacks setup..
> 3. What exactly is a traceback object - we know that an instance
> object is a dictionary and some glue logic that allows you to pretend
> that methods are stored within the instance and call using x.sin(self)
> etc. But I was reading: pydoc traceback AND:
> 'Extract the raw traceback from the current stack frame'
> A stack frame contains (from wiki) the parameters, local variables,
> next instruction address so.. what's a raw traceback - does the
> default exception handler realize 'okay error' and then walk the stack
> and extract data and prettify it for display and build a magical
> traceback object? Is this documented for dummies what exactly it does?
> (i know that's what it's doing but I HAVE NO CLUE so.. are there books
> on this)
> How exactly does an exception fit in with tracebacks? How does all
> this fit in with nested functions?
> 4. When you call a nested function (decorator), it generally returns a
> wrapper function but I thought he was just returning a reference to a
> function object but obviously since it can see it's environment, how
> is the stack being setup?

found this:
(still reading it)

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