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Glossary

argument

A value passed to a function (or method) when calling the function.

attribute

A value associated with an object which is referenced by name using dotted expressions.

class

A template for creating user-defined objects. Class definitions normally contain method definitions which operate on instances of the class.

class variable

A variable defined in a class and intended to be modified only at class level (i.e., not in an instance of the class).

dictionary

An associative array, where arbitrary keys are mapped to values.

floor division

Mathematical division that rounds down to nearest integer. The floor division operator is //.

function

A series of statements which returns some value to a caller. It can also be passed zero or more arguments which may be used in the execution of the body.

garbage collection

The process of freeing memory when it is not used anymore. Python performs garbage collection via reference counting and a cyclic garbage collector that is able to detect and break reference cycles.

IDLE

An Integrated Development Environment for Python. IDLE is a basic editor and interpreter environment which ships with the standard distribution of Python.

immutable

An object with a fixed value. Immutable objects include numbers, strings and tuples. Such an object cannot be altered.

interactive

Python has an interactive interpreter which means you can enter statements and expressions at the interpreter prompt, immediately execute them and see their results.

list

A built-in Python sequence. Despite its name it is more akin to an array in other languages than to a linked list since access to elements is O(1).

method

A function which is defined inside a class body.

object

Any data with state (attributes or value) and defined behavior (methods).

parameter

A named entity in a function (or method) definition that specifies an argument (or in some cases, arguments) that the function can accept.

Pythonic

An idea or piece of code which closely follows the most common idioms of the Python language, rather than implementing code using concepts common to other languages.

statement

A statement is part of a suite (a “block” of code). A statement is either an expression or one of several constructs with a keyword, such as if, while or for.
Last modified 3yr ago