[docs] [issue21814] object.__setattr__ or super(...).__setattr__?

Vincent Besanceney report at bugs.python.org
Sat Jun 21 09:41:06 CEST 2014

Vincent Besanceney added the comment:

If I understand it right, in a simple case like this:

  class Foo(object):

    def __setattr__(self, name, value):
      # some logic, then...
      super(Foo, self).__setattr__(name, value)

calling super is equivalent to calling object.__setattr__, but doesn't have any added-value since there's no cooperative multiple inheritance involved, in that case we are better off calling the parent class method directly.

If Foo evolves to have multiple ancestors, object has a __setattr__ method and that object is always the last class in the MRO chain, so any sequence of calls to super(..).__setattr__ is guaranteed to end with a call to object.__setattr__ method (assuming ancestors __setattr__ method, if any, calls super as well), and that may be what we want, i.e. to also benefit from an ancestor __setattr__ method.

Hmm, this last point may be too specific if not out of scope in regards to the documentation. Falling back to the original need, from the documentation "If __setattr__() wants to assign to an instance attribute...", so as you said, "calling object.__setattr__ gives a known, guaranteed behavior".


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