Guido's new method definition idea

Neal Becker ndbecker2 at gmail.com
Sat Dec 6 19:03:11 CET 2008


Daniel Fetchinson wrote:

> Hi folks,
> 
> The story of the explicit self in method definitions has been
> discussed to death and we all know it will stay. However, Guido
> himself acknowledged that an alternative syntax makes perfect sense
> and having both (old and new) in a future version of python is a
> possibility since it maintains backward compatibility. The alternative
> syntax will be syntactic sugar for the old one. This blog post of his
> is what I'm talking about:
> 
> http://neopythonic.blogspot.com/2008/10/why-explicit-self-has-to-stay.html
> 
> 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.e. explicit self stays only the syntax is slightly different and may
> seem attractive to some. As pointed out by Guido classmethods would
> work similarly:
> 
> class C:
>     @classmethod
>     def cls.method( arg ):
>         cls.val = arg
>         return cls.val
> 
> The fact that Guido says,
> 
> "Now, I'm not saying that I like this better than the status quo. But
> I like it a lot better than [...] but it has the great advantage that
> it is backward compatible, and can be evolved into a PEP with a
> reference implementation without too much effort."
> 
> shows that the proposal is viable.
> 
> I'd like this new way of defining methods, what do you guys think?
> Anyone ready for writing a PEP?
> 
What's the advantage?  If there is not a good reason, I would strongly opposed polluting the language.





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