[Python-Dev] Breaking calls to object.__init__/__new__

Guido van Rossum guido at python.org
Thu Mar 22 22:28:33 CET 2007

Can we move this to c.l.py or python-ideas? I don't think it has any
bearing on the decision on whether object.__init__() or
object.__new__() should reject excess arguments. Or if it does I've
lost the connection through the various long articles.

I also would like to ask Mr. Olsen to tone down his rhetoric a bit.
There's nothing unpythonic about designing an API using positional


On 3/22/07, Adam Olsen <rhamph at gmail.com> wrote:
> On 3/22/07, Thomas Wouters <thomas at python.org> wrote:
> > On 3/22/07, Adam Olsen <rhamph at gmail.com> wrote:
> > > In general.  Too many things could fail without errors, so it wasn't
> > > obvious how to use it correctly.  None of the articles I've read
> > > helped either.
> >
> > I've been thinking about writing an article that explains how to use
> > super(), so let's start here :) This is a long post that I'll probably
> > eventually copy-paste-and-edit into an article of some sort, when I get the
> > time. Please do comment, except with 'MI is insane' -- I already know that.
> > Nevertheless, I think MI has its uses.
> I'm going to be blunt, and I apologize if I offend.  In short, your
> article is no better than any of the others.
> What you've done is list off various ways why multiple inheritance and
> super() can fail, and then provide a toolbox from which a programmer
> can cobble together a solution to fit their exact needs.  It's not
> pythonic.  What we need is a *single* style that can be applied
> consistently to 90+% of problems while still requiring minimal effort
> to read later.
> Using keyword arguments and consuming them is the best I've seen so
> far.  Sure it's a little verbose, but the verbosity is repetitive and
> easy to tune out.  It also requires the classes to cooperate.  News
> flash: Python isn't C++ or Java.  Python uses a shared __dict__ rather
> than private namespaces in each class.  Python *always* requires the
> classes to cooperate.
> If you want to combine uncooperative classes you need to use
> delegation.  I'm sure somebody could whip up a metaclass to automate
> it, especially with the new metaclass syntax, not to mention ABCs to
> say "I'm string-ish" when you're delegating str.
> --
> Adam Olsen, aka Rhamphoryncus

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

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