Python "implements <interface>" equivalent?

Carl Banks pavlovevidence at
Thu Oct 4 17:27:15 CEST 2007

On Oct 4, 11:11 am, Wojciech Gryc <wojci... at> wrote:
> Hi,
> I recently started using Python and am extremely happy with how
> productive it's made me, even as a new user. I'm hoping to continue
> using the language for my research, and have come across a bit of a
> stumbling block.
> I'm a seasoned Java programmer and quite a big fan of interfaces...
> i.e. The idea that if I make a number of distinct classes that
> implement interface X, I can pass them all as parameters to functions
> or whatnot that require an X object.
> Is there something similar in Python?

Yes: you do it pretty much the same way you'd do it in Java, except
for two differences:
* leave out the "implements Interface" part
* don't actually create an Interface class

And then, voila!, you can write functions that can accept any class
that implements your interface.

> What I'd like to do is create a feature detection system for my work
> -- specifically, a general class / interface called "Feature" and then
> subclasses that implement functions like isFeaturePresent() in all of
> their different and unique ways. I'd love to hear how I can do this in
> Python.

Just define isFeaturePresent() in any class you want.  That's all you
have to do; any class that defines this method can be passed to any
function that invokes it, without having to "implement" or "subclass"

This is known as "duck typing" in Python lingo.

Carl Banks

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