Help with dynamic attributes.

Mr.Rech andrea.riciputi at
Mon Jan 9 15:39:33 CET 2006

Hi all,
I was writing a simple class when I get a strange error message that I
understand. Hopefully someone could help me here.

My class's init method takes a list of lists as input argument and I'd
like to create
several attributes each one referencing one item of the passed list.
Easy-of-use arguments
has led me to call these attributes as x0, x1, x2 and so on. In order
to get as many
attributes as the number of items of the passed list dynamically
defined I wrote the
following code:

class foo(object):
    def __init__(self, list_of_lists): = list(list_of_lists)

        for i in range(len(list_of_lists)):
            exec 'self.x%d =[%d]' % (i, i)

        self.shape = tuple(len(item) for item in

As soon as I try to import the module in which this class is defined I
get the following
error message:

SyntaxError: unqualified exec is not allowed in function '__init__' it
contains a nested
function with free variables (, line 49)

After a little bit of trials and errors I found that if I comment out
the line

self.shape = tuple(len(item) for item in

or I rewrote the for cycle as follows:

for i in range(len(list_of_lists)):
            exec 'self.x%d =[%d]' % (i, i) in locals()

the error disappears and the code works as expected. What it is even
more strange to me is
that if I replace the generator expression statement (that defines
self.shape) with an
explicit for-loop the error message doesn't come in and the code works

I really can't understand why it happens and I'm wondering what it's
going on here behind
the scene. Any explanation? Any better way to get the same attributes I
got with the exec

Thanks in advance,

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