[Python-Dev] Issue10403 - using 'attributes' instead of members in documentation

Rob Cliffe rob.cliffe at btinternet.com
Mon Jun 27 16:19:42 CEST 2011

On 27/06/2011 15:08, R. David Murray wrote:
> Wow, all these people who like 'members', and I can't think of ever
> using that term in a Python context.
> While I agree that using 'attribute' when only methods are being discussed
> would most likely be confusing, and that it can be tricky to clearly
> word things when both are being discussed, the existence in the language
> of getattr, setattr, and related methods argues against using the term
> 'members'.
> 'data attributes' can so easily become something else in Python...it
> seems to me that the only real difference between 'data attributes' and
> 'method attributes' in Python is that the latter can be called and the
> former can't.  But even that is not an accurate distinction, since a
> 'data attribute' could, in fact, return a callable.
> I guess what I'm saying is that I am more comfortable calling them
> all attributes than calling them all members.  The term 'members'
> isn't used anywhere in the language itself, as far as I can recall,
> whereas getattr and setattr are evidence that the language considers
> them all attributes.  I think we do the documentation readers a
> disservice by obscuring that fact by using other terminology.

'function attributes' ?  'def attributes' ?  Or just stick with 'method 
attributes' ?

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