Overloading operators

Lie Ryan lie.1296 at gmail.com
Thu Oct 16 22:54:12 CEST 2008

On Wed, 15 Oct 2008 14:34:14 +0200, Mr.SpOOn wrote:

> Hi,
> in a project I'm overloading a lot of comparison and arithmetic
> operators to make them working with more complex classes that I defined.
> What is the best way to do this? Shall I use a lot of "if...elif"
> statements inside the overloaded operator? Or is there a more pythonic
> and dynamic way?

Something that is more pythonic is something that doesn't use 
multimethods. It's just an elaborated way to do type checking. In python, 
you usually avoid type checking and if-elif-block-with-isinstance in 
favor of Duck Typing and EAFP (Easier to Ask Forgiveness than Permission, 
i.e. try-block).

> Sometimes I need a different behavior of the operator depending on the
> argument. For example, if I compare a object with an int, I get a
> result, but if I compare the same object with a string, or another
> object, I get another result.

*smells a bad class design* If that is the case, I'd recommend on 
splitting that behavior into two or more functions/operators (or possibly 
splitting the class). It's hard to reason the behavior of a class if the 
class is that complex (Simple is better than complex; Complex is better 
than complicated. The Zen of Python this:2-3).

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