[Python-Dev] Re: decorators and 2.4

Chermside, Michael mchermside at ingdirect.com
Mon Jun 28 08:11:16 EDT 2004

Jeff Bone writes:
> IMHO, making decorators functions is a bad idea.  Decorators are 
> metadata about the function to which they refer.

Bob Ippolito responds:
> Uh, the WHOLE POINT we want this is to have side-effects.  If it 
> doesn't make the function act in a different way, it might as well live > in the doc string or something.
> The most wanted use cases are all function transformations, not the 
> setting attributes on function objects.

And back to Jeff:
> Declarative vs. imperative.  Design-time *definitional* modification of > behavior vs. runtime.  I don't really think you want side-effects in 
> the literal sense.  E.g. "classmethod" isn't a side-effect, it's a 
> definitional thing.  If you really want side-effecting operations on 
> functions, you've already got that given higher-order / first-class 
> functions.

Just one more opinion here, but I'm with Bob on this one. Sure, many
of the uses I envision are "declarative" in the sense that they just
associate metadata with the function. But many other uses I envision
would alter the function's behavior. Yes, of COURSE it can all be
achieved by applying higher-order operations to Python's first-class
functions -- in my mind, that's what decorators ARE... a cleaner
syntax allowing easier use of higher order functions.

-- Michael Chermside

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