Overriding tp_getset attribute in subclasses

Michael Hudson mwh at python.net
Fri Aug 20 14:35:44 CEST 2004

Thomas Heller <theller at python.net> writes:

> I have a subclassable type implemented in C, which has a 'value'
> attribute implemented in the tp_getset slot.  The type is named c_long.
> The value attribute accepts and returns integers.
> Now I want to derive a subclass 'BOOL' (in Python) from it, where the
> 'value' attribute should accept and return bool instances:
> from ctypes import c_long
> class BOOL(c_long):
>     def _get_value(self):
>         return bool(c_long.value.__get__(self))
>         # this also works:
>         # return bool(super(BOOL, self).value)
>     def _set_value(self, val):
>         c_long.value.__set__(self, val)
>         # this does not work:
>         # super(BOOL, self).value = val
>     value = property(_get_value, _set_value)
> I had expected the commented out super() calls to also do the work, but
> at least in the _set_value method it does not work: 
>   File "c:\sf\ctypes\win32\wintypes.py", line 37, in _set_value
>     super(BOOL, self).value = val
> TypeError: 'super' object has only read-only attributes (assign to .value)

A bug on SF just like this just got closed, and this text added to the

  Note that \function{super} is implemented as part of the binding
  process for explicit dotted attribute lookups such as \samp{super(C,
  self).__getitem__(name)}.  Accordingly, \function{super} is
  undefined for implicit lookups using statements or operators such as
  \samp{super(C, self)[name]}.

So you should write 

   super(BOOL, self).__setattr__('value', val)

or similar.

> The c_long.value.__get__ and c_long.value.__set__ variants work, but
> they look strange - is there a better way?

I guess super(BOOL, BOOL).value.__set__() might work too... haven't
tried it, though.

I also note that the documentation for super() starts off with

    Return the superclass of \var{type}.

which is wrong, and that super() is documented in libfuncs.tex, which
is also wrong.  Some bug reports are coming up!


  GAG: I think this is perfectly normal behaviour for a Vogon. ...
VOGON: That is exactly what you always say.
  GAG: Well, I think that is probably perfectly normal behaviour for a
      psychiatrist. -- The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy, Episode 9

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