variable hell

Robert Kern rkern at
Thu Aug 25 18:22:15 CEST 2005

Ron Garret wrote:

> If you really want to make something like this work you can define a 
> class that would work like this:
> vars = funkyclass()
> varname = 'x'
> vars[varname] = value
> vars.x
> But this is clearly a design mistake.  Either you know the names of the 
> variables when you write the code or you do not.  If you know them you 
> can simply assign them directly.  If you do not know them then you can't 
> put them in the code to read their values anyway, and what you need is 
> just a regular dictionary.

In fact, I do this all of the time.

  class Bunch(dict):
    def __init__(self, *args, **kwds):
      dict.__init__(self, *args, **kwds)
      self.__dict__ = self

It's a lifesaver when you're working at the interactive prompt. In the
bowels of my modules, I may not know what the contents are at code-time,
but at the prompt I probably do. Bunch assists both usages.

Robert Kern
rkern at

"In the fields of hell where the grass grows high
 Are the graves of dreams allowed to die."
  -- Richard Harter

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