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3. Reference Counting

The macros in this section are used for managing reference counts of Python objects.

 
void Py_INCREF( PyObject *o)
Increment the reference count for object o. The object must not be NULL; if you aren't sure that it isn't NULL, use Py_XINCREF().
 
void Py_XINCREF( PyObject *o)
Increment the reference count for object o. The object may be NULL, in which case the macro has no effect.
 
void Py_DECREF( PyObject *o)
Decrement the reference count for object o. The object must not be NULL; if you aren't sure that it isn't NULL, use Py_XDECREF(). If the reference count reaches zero, the object's type's deallocation function (which must not be NULL) is invoked.

Warning: The deallocation function can cause arbitrary Python code to be invoked (e.g. when a class instance with a __del__() method is deallocated). While exceptions in such code are not propagated, the executed code has free access to all Python global variables. This means that any object that is reachable from a global variable should be in a consistent state before Py_DECREF() is invoked. For example, code to delete an object from a list should copy a reference to the deleted object in a temporary variable, update the list data structure, and then call Py_DECREF() for the temporary variable.

 
void Py_XDECREF( PyObject *o)
Decrement the reference count for object o. The object may be NULL, in which case the macro has no effect; otherwise the effect is the same as for Py_DECREF(), and the same warning applies.

The following functions or macros are only for use within the interpreter core: _Py_Dealloc(), _Py_ForgetReference(), _Py_NewReference(), as well as the global variable _Py_RefTotal.

  

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For authoritative source of the documentation, please refer to http://python.org/doc/

  

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