Re: Strings...immutable?

From: (Stefan Ram)
21 Mar 2007 12:58:10 GMT
  Supersedes to remove a part regarding pointees not being
  wrapped in a struct or an array.

Supersedes: <>

Patricia Shanahan <> writes:

Here's a question for people holding that view: Why should the
particular, and arguably peculiar, cluster of features that C
associated with pointers be the ultimate definition of

  These people might say ?Because C was there first?, or
  C (A, B, BCPL) people (Dennis Ritchie) /coined/ it:

      ?This was Dennis's contribution, and he in fact coined the
      term "pointer" as an innocuous sounding name for a truly
      malevolent construct.?

  However, since this source is filed under ?humor?, I'm not
  sure, whether this part is true. At least one can confirm
  early usage:

      ?Finally, the B and BCPL model implied overhead in dealing
      with pointers: the language rules, by defining a pointer
      as an index in an array of words, forced pointers to be
      represented as word indices. Each pointer reference
      generated a run-time scale conversion from the pointer to
      the byte address expected by the hardware.?

      ?B and BCPL had notions of pointers, which were names of
      storage cells, but on a byte oriented machine in
      particular and also one in which the -- had 16-bit words
      and -- I don't think it did originally, but they were
      clearly intending to have 32-bit and 64-bit floating point
      numbers. So that there all these different sizes of
      objects, and B and BCPL were really only oriented toward a
      single size of object. From a linguistic point of view
      that was the biggest limitation of B; not only the fact
      that all objects were the same size but also that just the
      whole notion of pointer to object didn't fit well with?

  To show that they /coined/ it, still would need to show that
  no one else already used it for this purpose in those days.

Supersedes: <>

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