Function "modes" vs. separate functions (was: PyWart: os.path needs immediate attention!)

Andrew Berg bahamutzero8825 at
Sat Jul 30 03:15:35 CEST 2011

On 2011.07.29 07:50 PM, Steven D'Aprano wrote:
> Especially if the implementation looks like this:
> def get_thing(argument, flag):
>     if flag:
>         return one_thing(argument)
>     else:
>         return another_thing(argument)
Well, that would be annoying, but wouldn't it be even more annoying to
do this:
def get_one_thing(arg):
	return one_thing(arg)

def get_another_thing(arg):
	return another_thing(arg)

> Argument flags which do nothing but change the behaviour of the function
> from Mode 1 to Mode 2 are an attractive nuisance: they seem like a good
> idea, but aren't. Consider it a strong guideline rather than a law, but
> it's one I would think very long and hard about before violating.
Creating separate functions for two thing that do almost the same thing
seem more of a nuisance to me, especially if they share a lot of code
that isn't easily separated into other functions.

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