Why does python not have a mechanism for data hiding?

Mark Wooding mdw at distorted.org.uk
Sun Jun 8 14:52:10 CEST 2008

Fuzzyman <fuzzyman at gmail.com> wrote:

> So, you are stating that no API programmer using Python *ever* has a
> valid or genuine reason for wanting (even if he can't have it) genuine
> 'hiding' of internal state or members from consumers of his (or
> her...) API?

I don't want to speak for whoever you were responding to, but from my
point of view...


I understand the difference between the documented interface of a system
and the details of its implementation.  But sometimes it can be useful
to take advantage of implementation details, particularly if the
published interface is inadequate in some way.  Whether or not I choose
to make use of implementation details is a trade-off between immediate
convenience and maintainability, but that's something I can make a
rational decision about.

By enforcing your `data hiding', you're effectively telling me that I'm
too stupid to make rational decisions of this sort.  And that's actually
extremely insulting.

-- [mdw]

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