Classes and modules are singletons?

Steven D'Aprano steve at
Fri Mar 7 13:15:17 CET 2008

On Thu, 06 Mar 2008 06:30:41 -0800, Carl Banks wrote:

> On Mar 5, 8:44 pm, Steven D'Aprano <st... at REMOVE-THIS-
>> wrote:
>> But what about classes? Are they singletons? Obviously classes aren't
>> Singleton classes, that is, given an arbitrary class C you can create
>> multiple instances of C. But what about class objects themselves? I've
>> found a few odd references to "classes are singletons", but nothing in
>> the language reference.
> Probably because "singleton" is the wrong word.  A singleton means there
> is one instance of a type; classes are instances of "type" which can
> have many instances so classes are not singletons.

Right. I knew there was something funny about using the term "singleton" 
to refer to classes, but I couldn't put my finger on it.


> For that matter, try this:
>>>>import module
>>>>c1 = module.Someclass
>>>>module.Someclass = some_other_class() 
>>>>c2 = module.Someclass
>>>>c1 is c2

That example is cheating because you rebind the *name* module.Someclass. 
Of course you get something different.

But in any case, I'm satisfied now... the name singleton is inappropriate 
for modules and classes, although they are both singleton-like. I like 
Gabriel's term "named singleton" (from another thread).

Thank you to everybody who answered.


More information about the Python-list mailing list