call function of class instance with no assigned name?

Chris Rebert clp2 at
Tue May 5 18:01:52 CEST 2009

On Tue, May 5, 2009 at 8:52 AM, George Oliver <georgeoliverGO at> wrote:
> hi, I'm a Python beginner with a basic question. I'm writing a game
> where I have keyboard input handling defined in one class, and command
> execution defined in another class. The keyboard handler class
> contains a dictionary that maps a key to a command string (like 'h':
> 'left') and the command handler class contains functions that do the
> commands (like def do_right(self):),
> I create instances of these classes in a list attached to a third,
> 'brain' class. What I'd like to have happen is when the player presses
> a key, the command string is passed to the command handler, which runs
> the function. However I can't figure out a good way to make this
> happen.
> I've tried a dictionary mapping command strings to functions in the
> command handler class, but those dictionary values are evaluated just
> once when the class is instantiated. I can create a dictionary in a
> separate function in the command handler (like a do_command function)
> but creating what could be a big dictionary for each input seems kind
> of silly (unless I'm misunderstanding something there).
> What would be a good way to make this happen, or is there a different
> kind of architecture I should be thinking of?

You could exploit Python's dynamism by using the getattr() function:

key2cmd = {'h':'left'}
cmd_name = key2cmd[keystroke]
getattr("do_"+cmd_name, cmd_handler)() #same as cmd_handler.do_left()


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