Strange behavior with classes deriving from object and weakrefs.

Duncan Booth duncan at
Thu Aug 1 05:16:31 EDT 2002

tweedgeezer at (Jeremy Fincher) wrote in 
news:698f09f8.0207311155.4fdcb159 at

>>>> d.items()
> [('O', <class '__main__.O'>)]
>>>> sys.getrefcount(d['O'])
> 5
> Whence came those 5 references?

One of them came from the line above it. Typing a value at the interactive 
prompt assigns the result to '_', so when you enter the getrefcount again, 
you get one reference fewer:

>>> d.items()
[('O', <class '__main__.O'>)]
>>> sys.getrefcount(d['O'])
>>> sys.getrefcount(d['O'])

Another reference comes from the expression d['O'] which converts the weak 
reference to a strong reference. So there are actually only 3 references 
unaccounted for. All of these actually appear as soon as you declare the 

>>> class O(object): pass

>>> sys.getrefcount(O)
(3 unknown, plus O + the getrefcount argument reference)

There aren't any references from object.__subclasses__(), that uses weak 
references until you actually call it.

I think one of the references comes from O.__mro__, that definitely creates 
a cycle though it should have been handled by the garbage collector if it 
were the only one.

And then there were two... but I can't spot them.

Duncan Booth                                             duncan at
int month(char *p){return(124864/((p[0]+p[1]-p[2]&0x1f)+1)%12)["\5\x8\3"
"\6\7\xb\1\x9\xa\2\0\4"];} // Who said my code was obscure?

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