Indeed! I promise to use dataclass next time I find myself about to use namedtuple. :-)
I'm pretty sure that virtually all my uses will allow that.
On Sat, Jan 26, 2019, 1:09 PM Eric V. Smith <firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
On 1/26/2019 12:30 PM, David Mertz wrote:
On Sat, Jan 26, 2019 at 10:31 AM Steven D'Aprano <email@example.com mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
In what way is it worse, given that returning a namedtuple with named fields is backwards compatible with returning a regular tuple? We can have our cake and eat it too. Unless the caller does a type-check, there is no difference. Sequence unpacking will still work, and namedtuples unlike regular tuples can support optional attributes.
I suppose the one difference is where someone improperly relies on tuple unpacking.
def myfun(): # ... return a, b, c # Call site val1, val2, val3 = myfun()
def myfun(): # ... return a, b, c, d
Now the call site will get "ValueError: too many values to unpack". Namedtuples don't solve this problem, of course. But they don't make anything worse either.
The better approach, of course, is to document the API as only using attribute access, not positional. I reckon dataclasses from the start could address that concern... but so can documentation alone. E.g.:
Old version (improved):
def myfun(): mydata = namedtuple("mydata", "a b c") # ... return mydata(a, b, c) # Call site ret = myfun() val1, val2, val3 = ret.a, ret.b, ret.c
New version (improved)
def myfun(): mydata = namedtuple("mydata", "a b c d e") # ... return mydata(a, b, c, d, e)
Now the call site is completely happy with no changes (assuming it doesn't need to care about what values 'ret.d' or 'ret.e' contain... but presumably those extra values are optional in some way.
Moreover, we are even perfectly fine if we had created namedtuple("mydata", "e d c b a") for some reason, completely changing the positions of all the named attributes in the improved namedtuple.
Preventing this automatic unpacking (and preventing iteration in general) was one of the motivating factors for dataclasses: https://www.python.org/dev/peps/pep-0557/#id47