Guido's new method definition idea

Brian Blais bblais at
Sun Dec 7 21:27:08 CET 2008

On Dec 5, 2008, at 21:21 , Daniel Fetchinson wrote:

> The proposal is to allow this:
> class C:
>     def self.method( arg ):
>         self.value = arg
>         return self.value
> instead of this:
> class C:
>     def method( self, arg ):
>         self.value = arg
>         return self.value

I have never understood the objection to the explicit self.  As far  
as I can tell it just stems from laziness, and perhaps (more  
legitimately) from an unclear error message about arguments.  When I  
was a python newbie, a short while ago, I would have to look twice at  
the number of arguments in the error, but quickly learned what this  
meant.  Forgetting self, which I still do, makes me do a face slap,  
but I always felt that it is *my* problem, and I still do.  It is far  
clearer what is going on with the explicit self.

Even if I were lazy, and didn't want to type it, it seems as if the  
proposal saves me nothing why have it?  It is also  
confusing, because when you're reading the code, "self" is not  
defined at the time, so it looks weird to have self.method pop up.   
Allowing both would be *ultra* confusing.  I teach python to a lot of  
students who are new programmers, and for them to see two different  
forms for the same thing would be very bad, and I see absolutely no  
benefit, even to experienced programmers.  What problem is it  
supposed to solve?

+1 on changing the error text, however, perhaps even with a  
suggestion..."possibly missing 'self' argument."


Brian Blais
bblais at

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