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Comment Re:Leaky abstractions (Score 1) 175

Well, thats because python, to save memory and processing time with lists, passes by reference, not by copy. The way to do what you want is this: >>> a=[[5]] >>> b=[a[0][:]] >>> a[0][0]=3 >>> b [[5]] However, if you are going to be passing around lists, and want copies to modify, then do this: b=a[:] to do a one-level copy of the list's contents. Any lists in the list, as above, will also be passed by reference, not copy. If you do have nested lists, then take a look at the copy module.

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