Dynamically defined functions via exec in imported module

Calvin Spealman ironfroggy at gmail.com
Sat Aug 16 05:36:41 CEST 2008

On Fri, Aug 15, 2008 at 10:48 PM, Nadeem <nadeemabdulhamid at gmail.com> wrote:
> I understand the 99% rule... the example I gave was to simplify the
> issue. The full thing I'm working on is a library for an introductory
> CS class I'm teaching. I'm trying, essentially, to build a library of
> macros for students to use allowing them to define records (like
> structs in C) with selector functions. In particular, I'm trying to
> replicate some of the Scheme stuff from the HtDP project in Python
> (http://www.htdp.org/2003-09-26/Book/curriculum-Z-
> H-9.html#node_sec_6.3). I want to provide a function, called
> defineStruct that is called like this:
> defineStruct('pos', 'x', 'y')
> The effect of this function will be to dynamically define several new
> functions for working with structures:
> makePos(x, y)
> posX(p)
> posY(p)
> isPos(p)

def defineStruct(name, *parameters):
  class _struct:
    def __init__(self, *init_parameters):
      for pname, pvalue in zip(parameters, init_parameters):
        setattr(self, pname, pvalue)
  globals()["make" + name] = _struct
  for parameter in parameters:
    def getter(o, parameter=parameter):
      return getattr(o, parameter)
    globals()[name + parameter] = getter
  globals()["is" + name] = lambda o: isinstance(o, _struct)

You might do other things, of course, like stepping up the frames from
sys._getframe() to inject the functions into the callers global scope.
There are some obvious optimizations you could make, too, as well as
other "methods" you might want to add.

> I understand that all this can be done with classes and OO
> programming, but the whole point of the HtDP curriculum is to
> introduce students to programming in a pedagogically-effective way
> using a functional approach instead of OO-first. They do it in Scheme,
> which is primarily a f.p. language, and I'm trying to replicate a
> similar approach in Python. The defineStruct thing is basically meant
> to be a macro that introduces a set of functions for whatever
> structure definition is needed.
> So, for these reasons, I don't believe the closure example above is
> helpful. I don't want to have to tell students anything about
> closures, and certainly have them worrying about functions returning
> functions, and function pointers, etc. I'm trying to bundle all that
> up behind the scenes.
> So, thinking about my problem again, an alternate question may be: Is
> it possible, in a function called in a module, to access and update
> the global definitions (dictionary or whatever) in the caller module.
> --- nadeem
> --
> http://mail.python.org/mailman/listinfo/python-list

Read my blog! I depend on your acceptance of my opinion! I am interesting!
Follow me if you're into that sort of thing: http://www.twitter.com/ironfroggy

More information about the Python-list mailing list