Weak references (- E04 - Leadership! Google, Guido van Rossum, PSF)

M.-A. Lemburg mal at egenix.com
Fri Jan 13 20:20:49 CET 2006

Duncan Booth wrote:
> Alex Martelli wrote:
>> It IS true that in Python you cannot set arbitrary attributes on
>> arbitrary objects.  The workaround is to use a dict, indexed by the id
>> of the object you want to "set arbitrary attributes on"; this has the
>> helpful consequence that separate namespaces are used, so your arbitrary
>> setting of metadata cannot interfere with the `true' attributes of the
>> object in question.
> That's a horrible suggestion (using id's, not the bit about separate 
> namespaces). If you use the id then attributes will persist beyond the 
> lifetime of the object and may suddenly reappear on other unrelated objects 
> later.
> A better suggestion here would be to use weak references. Unfortunately, 
> not every Python object can be the target of a weak reference, so there is 
> a limitation here preventing a useful implementation for many builtin 
> types.

mxProxy could help with that:


It allows creating weak references to any Python object
(among other things like protecting object access).

Marc-Andre Lemburg

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