[Python-Dev] Early PEP draft (For Python 3000?)

Eyal Lotem eyal.lotem at gmail.com
Tue Oct 11 23:31:42 CEST 2005

I would like to re-suggest a suggestion I have made in the past, but
with a mild difference, and a narrower scope.

Name: Attribute access for all namespaces

Rationale: globals() access is conceptually the same as setting the
module's attributes but uses a different idiom (access of the dict
directly).  Also, locals() returns a dict, which implies it can affect
the local scope, but quietly ignores changes.  Using attribute access
to access the local/global namespaces just as that is used in instance
namespaces and other modules' namespaces, could reduce the mental
footprint of Python.

Method: All namespace accesses are attribute accesses, and not direct
__dict__ accesses. Thus globals() is replaced by a "module" keyword
(or "magic variable"?) that evaluates to the module object.  Thus,
reading/writing globals in module X, uses getattr/setattr on the
module object, just like doing so in module Y would be.  locals()
would return be replaced by a function that returns the frame object
(or a weaker equivalent of a frame object) of the currently running
function.  This object will represent the local namespace and will
allow attribute getting/setting to read/write attributes. Or it can
disallow attribute setting.


       global x ; x = 1
Replaced by:
       module.x = 1


      globals()[x] = 1
Replaced by:
      setattr(module, x, 1)

      locals()['x'] = 1 # Quietly fails!
Replaced by:
      frame.x = 1 # Raises error

      x = locals()[varname]
Replaced by:
      x = getattr(frame, varname)

  - Python becomes more consistent w.r.t namespacing and scopes.
  - "module" is already possible by importing one's own module, but that is:
    * Confusing and unnecessarily requires naming one's self
redundantly (Making renaming of the module a bit more difficult).
    * Not easily possible in a __main__/importable module.
    * No equivalent for locals()
  - Automatic script conversion may be difficult in some use cases of

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