other ways to check for <type 'function'>?

John Roth JohnRoth1 at jhrothjr.com
Thu Nov 2 14:15:18 CET 2006

Fredrik Lundh wrote:
> elderic wrote:
> > are there other ways than the ones below to check for <type 'function'>
> > in a python script?
> callable(f)
> </F>

PEP 3100 specifies that the callable builtin is
to be removed in Python 3.0, together with what
I presume is the underlying C support for the

Unfortunately, there are cases where it's not
advisable to call something to verify that it's
callable - calling it will cause irreversable
changes to the program state, while a
verification function should make no changes
to state. The advice is fundamentally bad

On the other claw, I can  understand Guido's
point in wanting to get rid of it - it's got to be
an ugly piece of code with the Inappropriate
Intimacy code smell stinking up the place.

So what to do? Frankly, I'd back up a few
yards and consider the system design.
Where is the callable coming from? If it's
inside the team's scope of control, don't
bother checking it - the team should have
tests in place that verify that each site
passing a callable is passing the correct
object. If it's coming from outside, define
what's allowable and check that case by
case, preferably with consultation with 
your code's clients.

John Roth

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