[AstroPy] Coding Guidelines draft (comments encouraged)

Perry Greenfield perry at stsci.edu
Mon Jul 18 07:44:03 EDT 2011

On Jul 18, 2011, at 7:33 AM, Erik Tollerud wrote:
>> Realistically, I think people are likely to want to use the
>> get_color()/set_color() approach because it is more natural.  It also
>> makes it more clear what is happening.  I know that hard core OO guys
>> think properties are cool, but I've never seen the attraction myself.
> I don't find get_color/set_color to be natural at all - the
> property/attribute access seems much more so to me... although I don't
> think it's too hard to adapt from one style to the other (in either
> direction) for this case.  The advantage of properties in this context
> is that they encourage a natural flow between simple attribute access
> (which should be used when nothing else is needed) to get/set methods
> (properties look like attribute access).  On top of that, "star.color
> = 0.4" is more readable, and is a bit faster to type than
> "star.set_color(.4)".    Properties in the context given here are also
> suggested by PEP8  (mostly for these reasons).

I agree with Erik on this point. If something looks like an attribute  
(even if it is computed, or needs to call a function when set), then  
the attribute interface is the most natural. As Erik also mentions, it  
allows starting with a simple attribute and not requiring a change to  
the interface to use a method (why other languages think that all  
attributes always should use setters and getters when they don't have  
a properties mechanism).


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