Conceptual flaw in pxdom?

Emanuele D'Arrigo manu3d at
Sun May 17 12:47:17 CEST 2009

Hi everybody,

I'm looking at pxdom and in particular at its foundation class
DOMObject (source code at the end of the message). In it, the author
attempts to allow the establishment of readonly and read&write
attributes through the special methods __getattr__ and __setattr__. In
so doing is possible to create subclasses such as:

class MyClass(DOMObject):

    def __init__(self):
        self._anAttribute = "im_a_readonly_attribute"

    ## The presence of the following method allows
    ## read-only access to the attribute without the
    ## underscore, i.e.: aVar = myClassInstance.anAttribute
    def _get_anAttribute(self): return self._anAttribute

   ## Uncommenting the following line allows the setting of
   ## Commented, the same action would raise an exception.
   ## def _set_anAttribute(self, value): self._anAttribute = value

This is all good and dandy and it works, mostly. However, if you look
at the code below for the method __getattr__, it appears to be
attempting to prevent direct access to -any- variable starting with an

    def __getattr__(self, key):
        if key[:1]=='_':
            raise AttributeError, key

But access isn't actually prevented because __getattr__ is invoked -
only- if an attribute is not found by normal means. So, is it just me
or that little snipped of code either has another purpose or simply
doesn't do the intended job?


class DOMObject:
    """Base class for objects implementing DOM interfaces

    Provide properties in a way compatible with old versions of
    subclass should provide method _get_propertyName to make a read-
    property, and also _set_propertyName for a writable. If the
    property is set, all other properties become immutable.
    def __init__(self, readonly= False):
        self._readonly= readonly

    def _get_readonly(self):
        return self._readonly

    def _set_readonly(self, value):
        self._readonly= value

    def __getattr__(self, key):
        if key[:1]=='_':
            raise AttributeError, key
            getter= getattr(self, '_get_'+key)
        except AttributeError:
            raise AttributeError, key
        return getter()

    def __setattr__(self, key, value):
        if key[:1]=='_':
            self.__dict__[key]= value

        # When an object is readonly, there are a few attributes that
can be set
        # regardless. Readonly is one (obviously), but due to a wart
in the DOM
        # spec it must also be possible to set nodeValue and
textContent to
        # anything on nodes where these properties are defined to be
null (with no
        # effect). Check specifically for these property names as a
nasty hack
        # to conform exactly to the spec.
        if self._readonly and key not in ('readonly', 'nodeValue',
            raise NoModificationAllowedErr(self, key)
            setter= getattr(self, '_set_'+key)
        except AttributeError:
            if hasattr(self, '_get_'+key):
                raise NoModificationAllowedErr(self, key)
            raise AttributeError, key

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