has_method (solution found)

Alex Martelli aleaxit at yahoo.com
Wed Sep 1 09:32:30 CEST 2004

Gandalf <gandalf at geochemsource.com> wrote:

> Somebody sent me a private e-mail.
> It must be common for such silly questions that would just spam the 
> list. :-)
> I'll write down the final solution anyway.
> def getmethod(name):
>     methodList = [e for e in dir(self) if callable(getattr(self, e))]
>     if name in methodList:
>        return getattr(self,name)
>     else:
>        return None

I don't think this solution is 'final' -- I don't particularly like it,
in fact.  This function claims to return a method (or None) but can in
fact return any callable whatsoever, whether it be a method or not;
either the name and specification are bogus, or the code is.  And this
function uses a global 'self' name, which is really terrible...!

Standard library module inspect enables a superior solution:

import inspect

def getmethod(obj, name):
    result = getattr(obj, name, None)
    if inspect.ismethod(result):
        return result
        return None

There are other ways to check whether result is a method, of course, but
the best way to program something is to NOT have to program it... just
reuse a good, solid solution that somebody else already programmed,
documented, tested, and placed in the standard library, all ready for


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