FAQ: __str__ vs __repr__

Skip Montanaro skip at pobox.com
Tue Jun 21 15:44:52 CEST 2005


    >> __repr__ shouldn't be anything, if you don't have an actual need for
    >> it.  Neither should __str__.

    Simon> Oh, I don't know. __str__ is so frequently useful in debugging
    Simon> and logging that I always try and do something useful with it.

And sometimes __repr__ inherited from a base class doesn't tell you much.
If you inherit from gobject (the basic object in PyGtk), the repr is
something like

    <Future object (__main__+Base) at 0x851384c>

That is, it identifies the class name, its inheritance hierarchy (Future ->
Base -> __main__ in this case) and its memory address.  That's perhaps
useful by itself in some contexts, and I can understand that the PyGtk folks
couldn't really stuff more specific info in there, but it does nothing to
distinguish one instance's state from that of another.

Skip



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