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>>A simple circular list does not behave as expected when an element >>of the list is modified (since ref "makes a new object and returns why expect that `an element of the list is modified' and `ref "makes a new object"' are not orthogonal ideas (in an algol68 sort of way)? and, in fact, you can assign foo.link = bar; and bar.link = foo; quite happily, provided you've declared link as cyclic. of course, if you say `ref', then ref `makes a new object'. call me a taxi!