constructin trees in python

Peter Otten __peter__ at
Sat Nov 20 10:03:49 CET 2010

Maxim Mercury wrote:

> here is the definintion of htmlelement
> class HTMLElement:
>     tag=None
>     attrs={}
>     data=''
>     childs=[]
> the issue is the though new elements are pushed in the stack (1),
> whenever i append the child to the stack top all other elements in the
> stack is getting affected, i assume the same reference is used but is
> there a way to overcome this ?


class A:
   some_list = []

defines a class attribute shared by all instances of A. To turn some_list 
into an instance attribute move the definition into the initializer:

class A:
    def __init__(self):
        self.some_list = []

Note that this holds for every attribute, but you usually see it only for 
mutables like lists or dicts because in

class A:
   x = "yadda"
   y = []
a = A()
print a.x # yadda
a.x = 42
print a.x # 42
del a.x
print a.x # can you guess what happens?

the class attribute is shadowed by the instance attribute whereas


modifies the class attribute in place. 

# two more to check that you've understood the mechanism:
a.y += ["ham"] # ?
a.y = ["spam"] # ?


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