does python have useless destructors?

Brian van den Broek bvande at
Fri Jun 11 16:34:26 CEST 2004

Aahz said unto the world upon 10/06/2004 16:56:

> In article <-oadnfu_sdwTUFrdRVn-hw at>,
> Peter Hansen  <peter at> wrote:
>>Michael P. Soulier wrote:
>>>myfile = open("myfilepath", "w")
>>... immediately raises a warning flag in the mind of an
>>experienced Python programmer.
> Depends on the circumstance, I'd think.

Hi all,

I'm still learning Python as a first language since some BASIC quite some 
time ago, so my level of knowledge/understanding is not too sophisticated. 
  From that standpoint, I am wondering why the code that Michael P. 
Soulier provided above would worry an experienced Python programmer.

I've read the rest of the thread, but the ensuing references to C++ RAII, 
malloc, etc. are not yet within my grasp. (I recognize I'm not really the 
target audience of the thread.) I'd google for an explanation, but I don't 
have a clear sense of what to google for.

I had thought I was being careful and smart by always checking for 
filepath existence and always explicitly closing files, but I am wondering 
what red flag I'm overlooking.

Any pointers for stuff to read to understand the comment would be appreciated.

Thanks and best to all,

Brian vdB

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