Why 'self' ?

Russell E. Owen owen at astrono.junkwashington.emu
Wed Oct 31 18:39:40 CET 2001


In article <3BE04E7A.8E2CF101 at ces.clemson.edu>,
 "Schaefer, F." <fschaef at ces.clemson.edu> wrote:

>It's been a while that I am working with Python and actually
>the only thing I really do not like about it is 'self' in the
>member function definitions as argument. If it
>has to be there anyway, it is totally redundant to write it.
>
>So, why is self there ?

I believe it was basically to make implementation of the language easier.

I certainly agree it's a problem. I find forgetting to include the 
"self" argument to be one of the more significant sources of error in my 
own coding. Aside from that, I find it confusing that the caller and 
callee argument list are different.

There are a number of other weaknesses in the object model. Still...with 
all their possible warts, Python classes are very useful, the 
introspection mechanism is handy and the language overall is great -- 
powerful and fairly simple.

One interesting question is whether Guido sees "self" as a problem. If 
he does, he might be tempted to fix it in some future incompatible 
version (anybody know if version 3 is going to be the fabled 
incompatible Python 3000?).

-- Russell



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