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Explanation of list reference

On Sat, Feb 15, 2014 at 1:20 PM, Marko Rauhamaa <marko at pacujo.net> wrote:
> Ian Kelly <ian.g.kelly at gmail.com>:
>> On Sat, Feb 15, 2014 at 9:29 AM, Marko Rauhamaa <marko at pacujo.net> wrote:
>>> 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.
> It is not useless to identify your fundamental definitions and axioms
> instead of resorting to circular reasoning.
> The original question was how a beginning programmer could "get" lists.
> We very quickly descended into the murky waters of "objects" of an
> underlying machine and CPython's way of implementing things. I was
> wondering if there was a way to "get" integers, lists, references etc
> without hauling the poor student under the keel.
> In a word, could Python be your first programming language?

Absolutely, many people learn Python as their first language.  Even
MIT famously uses it for their introductory computer science class.
And I think that most of them do it without getting into internal
details like memory addresses and the heap.