Static properties

Alex Martelli aleaxit at
Fri Aug 27 08:45:43 CEST 2004

Bengt Richter <bokr at> wrote:
> >> Is it possible to define "static properties" in a class?
> >
> >Yes, but only by defining a custom metaclass to be the type of that
> >class.  Properties are defined in the type, not in the instance; so, for
> >a class itself to have properties, the class's type, commonly known as
> >its metaclass, must be the one defining them.
> Um, UIAM a property is just a peculiar descriptor, which you can define
> without resorting to metaclass magic. See below ...

Hmmm -- I think we're talking somewhat at cross-purposes between
property, the built-in type, and the effect it has (that accessing an
attribute runs some code).  I was focusing on the formed, but you're
quite right regarding the latter.

> >if you want to be able to get at property curdir on INSTANCES of Path as
> >you normally would for a staticmethod, yet with property syntax, I think
> >you need to get a bit more clever than this... descriptors don't get
> >looked up two metalevels up, only one...
> >
> But you only need one:

If you don't use property, but "get a bit more clever" by defining a
custom descriptor as you have, yes:

>  >>> class Path(object):
>  ...     class curdir(object):
>  ...         def __get__(self, inst, cls): return os.getcwd()
>  ...     curdir = curdir()

Nice.  Unfortunately it doesn't extend to data properties, those with a
__set__ method:

>>> class Path(object):
...   class foo(object):
...     def __get__(*a): return 'gotten'
...     def __set__(*a): print 'setten'
...   foo = foo()
>>> p=Path()
>>> = 23

I think (I hope I'm wrong) that to catch ' = something' you do
have to use a custom metaclass (not 'metaclass magic', nothing in the
least magical about it).  But if you're simply willing to trust users to
just never assign to -- you don't need for such assignments to
cause an error nor for them to cause any specific action -- a simple
custom descriptor may indeed suffice.


More information about the Python-list mailing list