[RFC] Parametric Polymorphism

Tom Anderson twic at urchin.earth.li
Sun Sep 25 23:03:24 CEST 2005

On Sun, 25 Sep 2005, Catalin Marinas wrote:

> Sorry if this was previously discussed but it's something I miss in 
> Python. I get around this using isinstance() but it would be cleaner to 
> have separate functions with the same name but different argument types. 
> I think the idea gets quite close to the Lisp/CLOS implementation of 
> methods.
> Below is just simple implementation example (and class functions are
> not supported) but it can be further extended/optimised/modified for
> better type detection like issubclass() etc. The idea is similar to
> the @accepts decorator:
> methods = dict()
> def method(*types):
>    def build_method(f):
>        assert len(types) == f.func_code.co_argcount
>        if not f.func_name in methods:
>            methods[f.func_name] = dict()
>        methods[f.func_name][str(types)] = f
>        def new_f(*args, **kwds):
>            type_str = str(tuple([type(arg) for arg in args]))
>            assert type_str in methods[f.func_name]
>            return methods[f.func_name][type_str](*args, **kwds)
>        new_f.func_name = f.func_name
>        return new_f
>    return build_method

Neat. I'd come up with the same general idea myself, but since i am a 
worthless slob, i never actually implemented it.

Is there any reason you have to stringify the type signature? Types are 
hashable, so a tuple of types is hashable, so you can just use that as a 
key. Replace "methods[f.func_name][str(types)] = f" with 
"methods[f.func_name][types] = f" and "type_str = str(tuple([type(arg) for 
arg in args]))" with "type_str = tuple(type(arg) for arg in args)". And 
then rename type_str to types thoughout.

Also, we can exploit the closureness of new_f to avoid a dict lookup:

f_implementations = methods[f.func_name]
def new_f(*args, **kwds):
 	types = tuple(type(arg) for arg in args)
 	return f_implementations[types](*args, **kwds)


double mashed, future mashed, millennium mashed; man it was mashed

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