Removing inheritance (decorator pattern ?)

Diez B. Roggisch deets at
Sun Jun 15 22:12:00 CEST 2008

George Sakkis schrieb:
> I have a situation where one class can be customized with several
> orthogonal options. Currently this is implemented with (multiple)
> inheritance but this leads to combinatorial explosion of subclasses as
> more orthogonal features are added. Naturally, the decorator pattern
> [1] comes to mind (not to be confused with the the Python meaning of
> the term "decorator").
> However, there is a twist. In the standard decorator pattern, the
> decorator accepts the object to be decorated and adds extra
> functionality or modifies the object's behavior by overriding one or
> more methods. It does not affect how the object is created, it takes
> it as is. My multiple inheritance classes though play a double role:
> not only they override one or more regular methods, but they may
> override __init__ as well. Here's a toy example:
> class Joinable(object):
>     def __init__(self, words):
>         self.__words = list(words)
>     def join(self, delim=','):
>         return delim.join(self.__words)
> class Sorted(Joinable):
>     def __init__(self, words):
>         super(Sorted,self).__init__(sorted(words))
>     def join(self, delim=','):
>         return '[Sorted] %s' % super(Sorted,self).join(delim)
> class Reversed(Joinable):
>     def __init__(self, words):
>         super(Reversed,self).__init__(reversed(words))
>     def join(self, delim=','):
>         return '[Reversed] %s' % super(Reversed,self).join(delim)
> class SortedReversed(Sorted, Reversed):
>     pass
> class ReversedSorted(Reversed, Sorted):
>     pass
> if __name__ == '__main__':
>     words = 'this is a test'.split()
>     print SortedReversed(words).join()
>     print ReversedSorted(words).join()
> So I'm wondering, is the decorator pattern applicable here ? If yes,
> how ? If not, is there another way to convert inheritance to
> delegation ?

Factory - and dynamic subclassing, as shown here:

import random

class A(object):

class B(object):

def create_instance():
     superclasses = tuple(random.sample([A, B], random.randint(1, 2)))
     class BaseCombiner(type):

         def __new__(mcs, name, bases, d):
             bases = superclasses + bases
             return type(name, bases, d)

     class Foo(object):
         __metaclass__ = BaseCombiner
     return Foo()

for _ in xrange(10):
     f = create_instance()
     print f.__class__.__bases__


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