When were metaclasses added? (was Re: For review: PEP 308 - If-then-else expression)

Just just at xs4all.nl
Mon Feb 10 18:40:20 CET 2003

In article <b28l61$7bg$1 at panix2.panix.com>, aahz at pythoncraft.com (Aahz) 

> In article <7h33cmwyxea.fsf at pc150.maths.bris.ac.uk>,
> Michael Hudson  <mwh at python.net> wrote:
> >aahz at pythoncraft.com (Aahz) writes:
> >>
> >> What was implicit in mentioning frequency, I think, is that the
> >> actual metric is frequency times power.  Metaclasses are very, very
> >> powerful, so even a low frequency gives them many "feature points".
> >> Also, metaclasses came essentially for free with new-style classes,
> >> which have many other reasons for existing.
> >
> >Metaclasses were also already there, let's not forget.  
> At the very most, that's two-thirds true.  It was essentially impossible
> to use them from Python without loading a special module, and even then
> there were many more restrictions on its use.  The *idea* of metaclasses
> was certainly there (and essential/intrinsic to Python's object model),
> but I think it's fair to say that metaclasses in Python had little more
> existence than subclassing of builtin types (which you could
> theoretically do from C prior to 2.2).

The "Don Beaudry hook" did not require a special module. It was still a 
pain to work with, but it was there. Here's a 1.5.2 session:

  Python 1.5.42+ (#43, Oct  9 2000, 11:42:55)  [CW PPC w/GUSI w/MSL]
  Copyright 1991-1995 Stichting Mathematisch Centrum, Amsterdam
  >>> class MetaClass:
  ...     def __init__(self, name, bases, methoddict):
  ...         print "making new class named", name
  >>> AFakeClass = MetaClass("AFakeClass", (), {})
  making new class named AFakeClass
  >>> class Foo(AFakeClass): pass
  making new class named Foo
  >>> Foo
  <__main__.MetaClass instance at 8244060>
  >>> Foo.__class__
  <class __main__.MetaClass at 8244ba0>


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