[Python-Dev] How to suppress instance __dict__?

Guido van Rossum guido@python.org
Sun, 23 Mar 2003 16:04:16 -0500

> Guido van Rossum <guido@python.org> writes:
> >> > I think you could subclass the metaclass, override __new__, and delete
> >> > the bogus __getstate__ from the type's __dict__.  Then you'll get the
> >> > default pickling behavior which ignores slots; that should work just
> >> > fine in your case. :-)

> >> Ooh, that's sneaky!  But I can't quite see how it works.  The error
> >> message I quoted at the top about __getstate__ happens when you try to
> >> pickle an instance of the class.  If I delete __getstate__ during
> >> __new__, it won't be there for pickle to find when I try to do the
> >> pickling.  What will keep it from inducing the same error?

> > Just try it.  There are many ways to customize pickling, and if
> > __getstate__ doesn't exist, pickling is done differently.
> Since this doesn't work:
>     >>> d = type('d', (object,), { '__slots__' : ['foo'] } )
>     >>> pickle.dumps(d())

Um, you're changing the rules in the middle of the game.  You said you
had an *empty* __slots__.  My recommendation only applied to that
case.  I also thought you were doing this from C, not from Python, but
I may be mistaken.

> I'm still baffled as to why this works:
>     >>> class mc(type):
>     ...     def __new__(self, *args):
>     ...             x = type.__new__(self, *args)
>     ...             del args[2]['__getstate__']

Hm.  I don't think that x.__dict__ is args[2]; it's a copy, and
deleting __getstate__ from the arguments doesn't make any difference
to this example.

>     ...             return x
>     ...
>     >>> c = mc('c', (object,), { '__slots__' : ['foo'], '__getstate__' : lambda self: tuple() } )

Why are you passing a __getstate__ in?  The point was getting rid of
the __getstate__ that type.__new__ inserts.

>     >>> pickle.dumps(c())
>     'ccopy_reg\n_reconstructor\np0\n(c__main__\nc\np1\nc__builtin__\nobject\np2\nNtp3\nRp4\n.'
> especially since:
>     >>> dir(d) == dir(c)
>     1

I think you have been testing something very different from what you
think you did here.  dir(d) == dir(c) because they both have a
__getstate__; but d.__getstate__ is a built-in that raises an
exception, while c.__getstate__ is the lambda you passed in.

And have you tried unpickling yet?  I expect it to fail.

> I don't see the logic in the source for object.__reduce__(), so where
> is it?  OK, I see it in typeobject.c.  But now:
>     >>> c.__getstate__
>     <unbound method c.<lambda>>
> OK, this seems to indicate that my attempt to remove __getstate__ from
> the class __dict__ was a failure.  That explains why pickling c works,
> but not why you suggested that I remove __getstate__ inside of
> __new__.  Did you mean for me to do something different?

Yes.  I was assuming you'd do this at the C level.  To do what I
suggested in Python, I think you'd have to write this:

    class M(type):
        def __new__(cls, name, bases, dict):
	    C = type.__new__(cls, name, bases, dict)
	    del C.__getstate__
	    return C

> I note that c's __slots__ aren't pickled at all, which I guess was the
> point of the __getstate__ requirement:
>     >>> x = c()
>     >>> x.foo = 1
>     >>> pickle.dumps(x) == pickle.dumps(c())
>     1
> Fortunately, in our case the __slots__ are empty so it doesn't matter.


--Guido van Rossum (home page: http://www.python.org/~guido/)