Strings & methods

Def P def-p at usa.net
Thu Feb 24 20:25:38 CET 2000


OK, here's a stupid question... Why do strings have methods in 1.6?

Before everybody flames me, let me explain the reasons of my confusion. My
trusty old OOP textbooks say, that object orientation is about encapsulating
data in objects, to access them through methods. The methods (should) ensure
that the data are changed correctly. This makes sense for Python classes and
mutable objects like lists and dicts. However, since strings are immutable
(I'm assuming they still are in 1.6), those methods won't change the string
itself at all; they will rather act like functions glued to the object. To the
uninitiated, this may look like the old string functions have been changed to
methods in unnatural ways, and indeed it sometimes leads to peculiar
constructs like " ".join(list_of_strings). (I know this construct has been
explained in the newsgroup, and while the reasons for choosing this way are
understandable, intuitive it is not.)

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying string methods are a bad idea, I'm just
wondering. There is probably a good reason for this, but I haven't managed to
find it so far. My next question is, why have strings grown methods, but
integers, floats, tuples haven't?

<-- Def P -->


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