A "scopeguard" for Python

Steve Howell showell30 at yahoo.com
Fri Mar 5 05:37:50 CET 2010

On Mar 3, 7:10 am, "Alf P. Steinbach" <al... at start.no> wrote:
> For C++ Petru Marginean once invented the "scope guard" technique (elaborated on
> by Andrei Alexandrescu, they published an article about it in DDJ) where all you
> need to do to ensure some desired cleanup at the end of a scope, even when the
> scope is exited via an exception, is to declare a ScopeGuard w/desired action.
> The C++ ScopeGuard was/is for those situations where you don't have proper
> classes with automatic cleanup, which happily is seldom the case in good C++
> code, but languages like Java and Python don't support automatic cleanup and so
> the use case for something like ScopeGuard is ever present.
> For use with a 'with' statement and possibly suitable 'lambda' arguments:
> <code>
> class Cleanup:
>      def __init__( self ):
>          self._actions = []
>      def call( self, action ):
>          assert( is_callable( action ) )
>          self._actions.append( action )
>      def __enter__( self ):
>          return self
>      def __exit__( self, x_type, x_value, x_traceback ):
>          while( len( self._actions ) != 0 ):
>              try:
>                  self._actions.pop()()
>              except BaseException as x:
>                  raise AssertionError( "Cleanup: exception during cleanup" ) from
> </code>
> I guess the typical usage would be what I used it for, a case where the cleanup
> action (namely, changing back to an original directory) apparently didn't fit
> the standard library's support for 'with', like
>    with Cleanup as at_cleanup:
>        # blah blah
>        chdir( somewhere )
>        at_cleanup.call( lambda: chdir( original_dir ) )
>        # blah blah
> Another use case might be where one otherwise would get into very deep nesting
> of 'with' statements with every nested 'with' at the end, like a degenerate tree
> that for all purposes is a list. Then the above, or some variant, can help to
> /flatten/ the structure. To get rid of that silly & annoying nesting. :-)
> Cheers,
> - Alf (just sharing, it's not seriously tested code)

Hi Alf, I think I understand the notion you're going after here.  You
have multiple cleanup steps that you want to defer till the end, and
there is some possibility that things will go wrong along the way, but
you want to clean up as much as you can.  And, of course, flatter is

Is this sort of what you are striving for?

    class Cleanup:
         def __init__( self ):
             self._actions = []

         def call( self, action ):
             self._actions.append( action )

         def __enter__( self ):
             return self

         def __exit__( self, x_type, x_value, x_traceback ):
             while( len( self._actions ) != 0 ):
                 except BaseException as x:
                     raise AssertionError( "Cleanup: exception during
cleanup" )

    def clean_the_floor():
        print('clean the floor')

    def carouse(num_bottles, accident):
        with Cleanup() as at_cleanup:
            for i in range(num_bottles):
                def take_down(i=i):
                    print('take one down', i)
                if i == accident:
                    raise Exception('oops!')
                print ('put bottle on wall', i)

    carouse(10, None)
    carouse(5, 3)

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