Overloading =

Ken Seehof kens at sightreader.com
Mon Feb 28 00:43:39 CET 2000

You can't overload "=" in that case, because "=" is not an assignment
operator.  In fact, "=" is not an operator at all (in this case).  It binds
name to an object.  The statement "a=5" doesn't even look at what
kind of thing the name "a" used to refer to, it simply binds the name "a"
to the object 5.

Here a useful exception to the rule:

In the statement

  obj.a = 5

the "=" is the __setattr__ operator, so it's equivalent to

  obj.__setattr__('a', 5)

Then you overload __setattr__ to do whatever typechecking and stuff you
Perhaps you could prefix the users string with "obj." so "a=5" becomes
You almost certainly want "a" to be a member of an object anyway.  I'd
probably nuke the ".value" idea, unless you need it for something, though
could make __setattr__ do anything you want including "obj.a.value=5".

Overall, I'd say you've suffered too long as a C++ programmer (as I have)
and you need to forget everything you've ever learned.  Take a vacation.
When you get back, start again on python with a fresh mind.  If you try
to get python to do C++ tricks, you will just make your life difficult.
got its own stuff thats way better.

Felix Thibault wrote:

> At 22:47 2/17/00 GMT, jhefferon at my-deja.com wrote:
> >I have a class, rclass.  It has an attribute value.  Can I arrange
> >so that the string
> >    r1=r2
> >sets r1.value to equal r2.value (where r1 and r2 are class instances,
> >of course) without changing anything else about r1?  I'm willing to
> >test, say, that r1.classtype==r2.classtype or something, first to make
> >sure the assignment is sensible.
> >
> >And if so, can I also have r1=7 set r1.value to be 7?
> >
> >I want to have a box in a GUI where users can enter code, such as
> >assignments, and I'd like to avoid the reference to the underlying
> >attribute.
> >
> >Thanks,
> >Jim Hefferon jim at joshua.smcvt.edu
> >
> >
> >Sent via Deja.com http://www.deja.com/
> >Before you buy.
> >--
> >http://www.python.org/mailman/listinfo/python-list
> >
> >
> Would it be OK for this assignment to use another operation ?
> You could use something like-
> def __lshift__(self, other):
>     if hasattr(other, 'value'):
>         self.value = other.value
>     else:
>         self.value = other
> then your users could type r1 << r2 to put the value of r2 into r1.
> -Felix

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