generating method names 'dynamically'

Bengt Richter bokr at
Fri Jan 27 06:24:31 EST 2006

On Fri, 27 Jan 2006 01:20:52 +0100, Daniel Nogradi <nogradi at> wrote:

>> > Is it possible to have method names of a class generated somehow
>> dynamically?
>> >
>> > More precisely, at the time of writing a program that contains a class
>> > definition I don't know what the names of its callable methods should
>> > be. I have entries stored in a database that are changing from time to
>> > time and I always want to be able to call (from another program) those
>> > method names which are at the moment present in the database.
>> Sounds somehow more like all you need is to learn about __getattr__ and
>> maybe __call__ instead of actually generating methods.  In other words,
>> don't generate anything, just intercept attempts to call things that
>> were produced by accessing the attributes of an object.
>> Whether that would work or not depends on things you haven't said.  The
>> above spec is a little unclear, given among other things that you don't
>> "call method names", that the code in the methods you would presumably
>> want to call has to exist somewhere and you haven't described what that
>> code would be, and I can't tell what those database "entries" are really
>> all about other than that they somehow refer to the names of things that
>> you think you want to call as methods. :-)
>> Perhaps an example is in order...
>Thanks for all the replies, it became clear that I need to look into
>getattr, __getattr__ and __call__. I'll do that, but since you asked,
>here is the thing I would like to do in a little more detail:
>My database has 1 table with 2 fields, one called 'name' and the other
>one called 'age', let's suppose it has the following content, but this
>content keeps changing:
While the program is running? Or between runs of the program?
Either you will need to query the database for each pseudo-method call,
or you will be able to prebuild all the methods at startup or anything between.

>Alice 25
>Bob  24
>----------- ----------------
>class klass:
>     # do the stuff with getattr using the database
>     # but in a way that after the database changes
>     # I don't need to rewrite this part
>inst =3D klass()
>---------- ------------------
>import program1
># This should print 'Hello, my name is Bob and I'm 24'
># This should print 'Hi, I'm 25 and I'm Alice'
Those two messages differ by more than (name, age) content.
Where is the different text coming from, if you are building
these responses totally dynamically?

># This should print an error message, since there is no
># field in the database with name=3DJohn

I suppose you want the klass to have more methods than
just the dynamically built/simulated ones? Otherwise, why
not just define a function that takes a name and goes to the
data base to get the data and then prints the message. E.g.,
instead of
No class needed.
OTOH, if you are going to use a class, you might want to name it
capitalized (more conventional) and derive from object, or subclass
from something else if it makes sense. I.e. class Klass(object): ...

What kind of "database" are you accessing? An RDBMS? A CSV text file?
A directory full of named single-line files (ugh), or?

How often will you access the data? Are you the only one?
Requirements, requirements ;-)

Bengt Richter

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