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Explanation of list reference

On Sat, Feb 15, 2014 at 9:29 AM, Marko Rauhamaa <marko at pacujo.net> wrote:
> Steven D'Aprano <steve+comp.lang.python at pearwood.info>:
>> On Sat, 15 Feb 2014 14:07:35 +0200, Marko Rauhamaa wrote:
>>> Steven D'Aprano <steve+comp.lang.python at pearwood.info>:
>>>> On Sat, 15 Feb 2014 12:13:54 +0200, Marko Rauhamaa wrote:
>>>>>    5. id(x) == id(y) iff x is y
>>>> # Counter-example
>>>> py> x = 230000
>>>> py> idx = id(x)
>>>> py> del x
>>>> py> y = 420000
>>>> py> idy = id(y)
>>>> py> idx == idy
>>>> True
>>> I don't accept that as a counterexample.
>> Why?
> Nowhere do I see the violating "x is y".

You formulated your rule as a rule of inference.  The logical
inference from the above is that x is y, which is false even if it
can't be directly tested in Python.

>> All I need to do is show a case where two distinct objects have the
>> same ID.
> How do you know objects are "distinct"? Myself, I would use the "is"
> test.

Eliding over details of how one knows that both of the literals above
create objects, if the objects are separately created, then they are
distinct objects.

>>> That's the point. I don't think id() and "is" have any abstract
>>> meaning on top of the formal axioms.
>> Who is talking about "abstract meaning"?
> I am. I mean, "implementation-independent".
>> Object identity is simple and well-defined in Python. I don't know why
>> you are so resistant to this. Read the documentation.
> It is not defined at all:
>    Every object has an identity, a type and a value. An object's
>    identity never changes once it has been created; you may think of it
>    as the object's address in memory. The 'is' operator compares the
>    identity of two objects; the id() function returns an integer
>    representing its identity.
> Thus "x and y are identical" *means* "x is y" and nothing else.

This notion of identity sounds useless, and if that is the way you
prefer to understand it then you can safely ignore that it exists.  I
think that most users though inherently understand the concept of
objects being distinct or identical and see the value in being able to
test for this.