"Super()" confusion

Daniel Fetchinson fetchinson at googlemail.com
Tue Feb 10 21:03:18 CET 2009


>>>>> Consider whether you really need to use super().
>>>>>
>>>>> http://fuhm.net/super-harmful/
>>>>
>>>>Did you actually read that article, understood it, went through the
>>>>tons of responses from python-dev team members, including Guido
>
> "Tons" of responses?

This was mentioned already, but just to repeat: one good source, for
example, apart from the python-dev list:

http://www.artima.com/weblogs/viewpost.jsp?thread=236275

> I count 16, about a third of which are written by James Knight himself
> (the author of the page you are ranting against), and of the remaining,
> about half are low-to-zero information content, e.g. Tim Peter's joke
> about renaming the page for better marketing value.
>
> It's especially telling that even Guido, the most vocal critic of the
> article, is critical of the *title* but not the content. In his first
> post, he says: "I agree with the best practices in James's
> Conclusion...", and suggested that if the article was called "Multiple
> Inheritance Pitfalls in Python" he'd be much happier.
>
>
>>> Yes.  Why the knee-jerk reaction?
>>
>> Because throwing around that link carries about the same amount of
>> information as "perl is better than python", "my IDE is better than
>> yours", "vim rulez!", "emacs is cooler than vim", etc, etc.
>
> This is clearly not the case when even the most vocal critic agrees with
> the article's recommendations.
>
>
>>> I simply pointed out a resource which might be helpful to someone
>>> trying to learn to use super.
>>
>> It will certainly not be helpful to anyone trying to learn the usage of
>> super.
>
> I've read it, and found it very useful.
>
>
>> The person who wrote that essay is simply misunderstanding the
>> concept, as has been explained countless times by the python dev team.
>
> "Countless". Is that more or less than the "tons of responses" above?
>
>
>> Hence, it only increases confusion, adds to the noise and spreads false
>> alarm.
>
> So you say.
>
>
>> Honestly, I don't understand how this thing got so much out of control.
>> If anyone starts an intelligent question or remark about super, this
>> essay is thrown in no matter what. Anyone can explain why?
>
> Because inheritance is potentially confusing. Multiple inheritance is
> even more confusing. Multiple inheritance with diamond diagrams even more
> so, and multiple inheritance with diamond diagrams and non-cooperative
> classes are simply impossible to get right.
>
> Because there are many pitfalls to inheritance in Python, and they aren't
> obvious: who on earth would imagine that calling __init__ or __new__ with
> positional arguments could be dangerous? James Knight's article is a well-
> written, understandable description of some of them, in one place and
> with a catchy title. Of course people are going to link to it.
>
> And finally, because people do wrongly get the impression that using
> super will magically make those problems go away. I know this, because I
> was one of them.
>
> (I went through the anger period, sure that Knight must be full of it.
> How could anyone suggest that Guido made a super that isn't perfect? I
> got past that once I realised just how complex inheritance actually is.
> Currently I'm in denial, writing code with super and hoping that it will
> Just Work but not pushing it too hard in case it doesn't.)
>
>
>
> --
> Steven
> --
> http://mail.python.org/mailman/listinfo/python-list
>


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