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RE: is List link-based or array-based

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg49481] RE: [mg49471] is List link-based or array-based
  • From: "Wolf, Hartmut" <Hartmut.Wolf at>
  • Date: Thu, 22 Jul 2004 02:44:44 -0400 (EDT)
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at

Zhu Chongkai,

read Section 1.12 and appendix A 9 from the book.  Most probably you'll find your answers there. Everything beyond that is proprietary, speculative or simply untrue.  Of course you may ask me (or yourself BTW) "how would I implement this and that", but a lot of other questions would then have to be issued first (and - in some way or another - possibly be answered differently in hindsight).

If you're interested in some consequences of design decisions made (e.g. with respect to performance) then ask these questions directly to the software, i.e. test!  And with those this community might be able to help you.

The first sentence of §A.9.2 is:
"A Mathematica expression internally consists of a contiguous array of pointers, the first to the head, and the rest to its successive elements." 

A List is a Mathematica expression whose head is the symbol List.

Hartmut Wolf

>-----Original Message-----
>From: Zhu Chongkai [mailto:zhuchongkai at]
To: mathgroup at
>Sent: Wednesday, July 21, 2004 12:40 PM
>To: mathgroup at
>Subject: [mg49481] [mg49471] is List link-based or array-based
>Hi all,
>Mathematica is writen in C. What is the C data structure of 
>List? Is it linked list or array, or something else?

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