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

Fred Drake fdrake at acm.org
Tue Jun 28 13:04:11 CEST 2011

On Tue, Jun 28, 2011 at 6:54 AM, Michael Foord
<fuzzyman at voidspace.org.uk> wrote:
> Added to which there are other descriptors, notably property, that are not
> directly callable but are not provided as normal "data attributes" (although
> the access syntax is the same). Properties are much closer to methods as
> they are implemented on the class and fetched via the descriptor protocol.
> Instead of "data attributes" I prefer the term "instance attributes"
> although that doesn't include "class attributes" (or more precisely it
> doesn't cover "class attributes that aren't descriptors").

Given the availability of __getattr__ and __getattribute__, I consider
properties an implementation detail for some attributes.  The fact that
Python code is called on access is only marginally interesting.

> The problem with "data attributes" is that it doesn't mean *anything*, which
> I suppose is useful for invented terminology, but it means it doesn't convey
> anything precise to those who haven't heard the term before. If it becomes
> widely used then that changes I guess. I'd still normally just use
> "attributes" though...

I'd read "data attributes" the same as "non-method attributes".  For readers,
calling them "attributes" is typically sufficient.  It's rare to need to
distinguish them from methods.


Fred L. Drake, Jr.    <fdrake at acm.org>
"Give me the luxuries of life and I will willingly do without the necessities."
   --Frank Lloyd Wright

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