askutt at gmail
Apr 27, 2012, 10:51 AM
Post #3 of 5
On Apr 27, 1:12†pm, Steven D'Aprano <steve
Re: Python id() does not return an address [was Re: why () is () and  is  work in other way?]
[In reply to]
> On Thu, 26 Apr 2012 04:42:36 -0700, Adam Skutt wrote:
> > On Apr 26, 5:10†am, Steven D'Aprano <steve
> > +comp.lang.pyt...@pearwood.info> wrote:
> >> Solution to *what problem*?
> > This confusion that many people have over what 'is' does, including
> > yourself.
> I have no confusion over what "is" does.
False. If you did, then you would not have suggested the difference
in True/False result between "id([1,2]) == id([1, 2])" and "[1, 2] is
[1, 2]" matters. You would understand that the result of an identity
test with temporary objects is meaningless, since identity is only
meaningful while the objects are alive. That's a fundamental
> >> > An address is an identifier: a number that I can use to access a
> >> > value.
> >> Then by your own definition, Python's id() does not return an address,
> >> since you cannot use it to access a value.
> > The fact Python lacks explicit dereferencing doesn't change the fact
> > that id() returns an address. †Replace 'can' with 'could' or 'could
> > potentially' or the whole phrase with 'represents' if you wish. †It's a
> > rather pointless thing to quibble over.
> You can't treat id() as an address. Did you miss my post when I
> demonstrated that Jython returns IDs generated on demand, starting from
> 1? In general, there is *no way even in principle* to go from a Python ID
> to the memory location (address) of the object with that ID, because in
> general objects *may not even have a fixed address*. Objects in Jython
> don't, because the Java virtual machine can move them in memory.
Yes, there is a way. You add a function deref() to the language. In
CPython, that simply treats the passed value as a memory address and
treats it as an object, perhaps with an optional check. In Jython,
it'd access a global table of numbers as keys with the corresponding
objects as values, and return them. The value of id() is absolutely
an address, even in Jython. The fact the values can move about is
Again, if this wasn't possible, then you couldn't implement 'is'.
Implementing 'is' requires a mechanism for comparing objects that
doesn't involve ensuring the contents of the two operands in memory is
> > Would you call the result of casting a C pointer to an int an address?
> > If so, you must call the result of id() an address as well-- you can't
> > dereference either of them. †If not, then you need to provide an
> > alternate name for the result of casting a C pointer to an int.
> I don't need to do anything of the sort.
Yes, you do, because you called such a thing an address when talking
about CPython. Even if my definition is wrong (it's not), your
definition is wrong too.
> (And for the record, in C you can cast an integer into a pointer,
> although the results are implementation-specific. There's no equivalent
> in Python.)
Yes, but the lack of that operation doesn't mean that id() doesn't
return an address.