Extension type
“Extension type” can refer to either a Cython class defined with cdef class or more generally to any Python type that is ultimately implemented as a native C struct (including the built-in types like int or dict).
Dynamic allocation
Heap allocation
A C variable allocated with malloc (in C) or new (in C++) is allocated dynamically/heap allocated. Its lifetime is until the user deletes it explicitly (with free in C or del in C++). This can happen in a different function than the allocation.
pointer
A pointer is a variable that stores the address of another variable (i.e. direct address of the memory location). They allow for dynamic memory allocation and deallocation. They can be used to build dynamic data structures. Read more.
Python object
When using Python, the contents of every variable is a Python object (including Cython extension types). Key features of Python objects are that they are passed _by reference_ and that their lifetime is _managed_ automatically so that they are destroyed when no more references exist to them. In Cython, they are distinct from C types, which are passed _by value_ and whose lifetime is managed depending on whether they are allocated on the stack or heap. To explicitly declare a Python object variable in Cython use cdef object abc. Internally in C, they are referred to as PyObject*.
Stack allocation
A C variable declared within a function as cdef SomeType a is said to be allocated on the stack. It exists for the duration of the function only.
Typed memoryview
A useful Cython type for getting quick access to blocks of memory. A memoryview alone does not actually own any memory. However, it can be initialized with a Python object that supports the buffer protocol (typically “array” types, for example a Numpy array). The memoryview keeps a reference to that Python object alive and provides quick access to the memory without needing to go through the Python API of the object and its __getitem__/__setitem__ methods. For more information, see Typed Memoryviews.