I'm wrong or Will we fix the ducks limp?

Marko Rauhamaa marko at pacujo.net
Mon Jun 6 06:10:19 EDT 2016


Antoon Pardon <antoon.pardon at rece.vub.ac.be>:

> A reference is not pointer. When you use a reference parameter in
> Pascal, it behave like an ordinary parameter within the procedure
> block, you don't have to treat it like a pointer.

The word "reference" as used in the Python standards documentation is
not the same as "reference parameter in Pascal." Even more confusing, we
have "The Python Language Reference," which uses the word in yet a third
meaning!

Python's reference *is* indeed a pointer, even though there's usually no
need to bring the word "pointer" in the discussion. A "reference",
"pointer", "arrow", "leash", "morphism" etc are abstract thingies that
connect a starting point to an endpoint. (No wonder Java, whose
terminology involves references as well, sports a NullPointerException.)


Marko


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