Replacing a built-in method of a module object instance

David Hirschfield davidh at
Fri Jun 26 20:09:53 EDT 2009

I have a need to replace one of the built-in methods of an arbitrary 
instance of a module in some python code I'm writing.

Specifically, I want to replace the __getattribute__() method of the 
module I'm handed with my own __getattribute__() method which will do 
some special work on the attribute before letting the normal attribute 
lookup continue.

I'm not sure how this would be done. I've looked at all the 
documentation on customizing classes and creating instance methods...but 
I think I'm missing something about how built-in methods are defined for 
built-in types, and where I'd have to replace it. I tried this naive 
approach, which doesn't work:

m = <module instance>

def __getattribute__(self, attr):
    print "modified getattribute:",attr
    return object.__getattribute__(self, attr)

import types
m.__getattribute__ = types.MethodType(__getattribute__,m)

It seems to create an appropriately named method on the module instance, 
but that method isn't called when doing any attribute lookups, so 
something's not right.
Any ideas? Is this even possible?
Thanks in advance!

mediocre nebula.

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