deepcopy and file object attributes

Dan Perl dperl at
Tue Sep 14 21:47:08 CEST 2004

Here is some code to illustrate a problem that I have:
   import copy
   class myc:
      def __init__(self):
      def foo(self):
         self.myf.write('hello world!')       # it's going to fail for )

   c = myc()
   d = copy.deepcopy(c)                     # d.myf is created as closed
   del c                        # ValueError: I/O operation on closed file

I figured out with a debugger that d.myf gets created as a file object that 
is closed from the get-go.  Is this the expected behavior?  If so, is the 
behavior due to the file object (its own __deepcopy__ method) or is the 
behavior due to the deepcopy (it doesn't know how to get the file object 

I already have a way to get around the problem, by overriding the 
__deepcopy__ method.  Any other suggestions?

I have seen many parallels being drawn between copy/deepcopy and pickle. 
Are they sharing implementations?  I can definitely see a problem with 
pickle-ing an open file object, but I would normally expect a copy( ) to 
also copy the state of the file object.  Am I wrong about that?


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