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

Nick Coghlan ncoghlan at gmail.com
Tue Jun 28 02:30:14 CEST 2011

On Tue, Jun 28, 2011 at 8:46 AM, Michael Foord
<fuzzyman at voidspace.org.uk> wrote:
> So the Python 2.2 what's new talks about attributes and methods as different
> things.... Of course the context makes it clear, but this mirrors how I use
> the terms in discussion and how I see others generally using them.
> Great topic for bikeshedding. :-)

Yep, as David said, "attribute" is legitimately used to mean *both*
"all attributes (i.e. both data attributes and methods)" and "data
attributes (i.e. excluding methods)". In general, context makes it
clear which meaning is intended, and when that isn't the case, more
verbose phrasing such as that in the previous sentence can make it

Rather than fighting that convention, we should probably just confront
the ambiguity head on and update
http://docs.python.org/dev/glossary.html#term-attribute to describe
both uses of the term (and add a separate entry for "data attribute",
with a definition which basically says "attributes which are not


Nick Coghlan   |   ncoghlan at gmail.com   |   Brisbane, Australia

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