How to automate accessor definition?

kj at
Sun Mar 21 18:25:08 CET 2010

In <4ba58503$0$27838$c3e8da3 at> Steven D'Aprano <steve at> writes:

>On Sat, 20 Mar 2010 22:15:54 +0000, kj wrote:

>> I need to create a class solely for the purpose of encapsulating a large
>> number of disparate data items.

>There's a built-in for that. It's called "dict". Syntax for item access 
>is a tiny bit different, but still very common:


>instead of


I find the latter more readable than the former.  All those extra
elements (the brackets and the quotes, vs the single dot) add
Perl-like visual noise to the code, IMHO.

And dicts are vulnerable to this sort of bug:

  data['typo'] = type(foobar)

Also, AFAIK, initialization of a dictionary is never as simple as

  i = myclass(*fields)

But in a sense you're right: aside from these objections,
*functionality-wise* what I'm looking for is not very different
from a dictionary, or a C struct.

>> At the moment I have no plans for any
>> methods for this class other than the bazillion accessors required to
>> access these various instance variables.

>Huh? If you have instance variables, why don't you refer to them by name?

I'm sorry, I used the wrong terminology.  I see now that the correct
term is "(instance) attribute", not "instance variable".

>Leave the repetitive accessor code out. Python isn't Java.


Thanks for the link!  The bit about "Guido's time machine" is pretty


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