__init__ is the initialiser

Nicholas Cole nicholas.cole at gmail.com
Mon Feb 3 20:57:51 CET 2014

On Monday, 3 February 2014, Chris Angelico <rosuav at gmail.com> wrote:

> On Tue, Feb 4, 2014 at 12:50 AM, Nicholas Cole <nicholas.cole at gmail.com<javascript:;>>
> wrote:
> >> There have been occasional times I've wanted an "explicit destruction"
> >> feature. Rather than the facetious exception I listed above, it'd be
> >> better to have all those references (including the original one in a,
> >> since there's nothing special about that) turn into some kind of "null
> >> state" - either None, or a special object that marks itself as a
> >> destructed/destroyed (terminology debates aside) object. With custom
> >> types, I can mark them off with a special flag, and check that all the
> >> time; but I can't, for instance, have a dict that maps some lookup
> >> keyword to its output file, and then destroy output files to remove
> >> all their references from everywhere in the dict. (I have had
> >> something along these lines, a bit more complicated than this, but not
> >> in Python.)
> >
> > Can't you get close to that using weakrefs?  I'll admit that care is
> required.
> Weakrefs are a related tool, but solving a different problem. What I
> wanted here was an easy way to force all references to a particular
> file to be wiped out, based on one of the existing references. Here's
> a concocted setup that's broadly similar to what I was doing, which
> might illustrate the issue:
> log_files = {}
> def add_log_file(fn, *keywords):
>     f = open(fn, "w")
>     for kw in keywords: log_files[kw]=f
> for line in process_me_line_generator():
>     kw = line.split()[0]
>     f = log_files.get(kw)
>     if not f: continue
>     f.write(line+"\n")
>     if 'quit' in line:
>         # Okay, let's now close this file.
>         destruct(f)
> In this particular case, I could use "f.close()" and "if not f or
> f.closed: continue", but that requires that the object cooperate in
> this way, and I'm not entirely sure about resource usage. (I was
> actually working with a database connection object, IIRC, which didn't
> offer me a way to inquire if it was still open or not.) To do this
> with weak refs, I'd have to have some other source of strong refs, and
> closing would be done by digging through that list, disposing of it
> from there, and then triggering garbage collection. I suppose it could
> be made to work, but it feels like going about everything backwards.
> ChrisA

When I have had similar problems, I've wrapped the 'strong' reference to
the thing I might need to destroy inside an object, and had the 'destroy'
method delete it.

I'll admit that it isn't quite as convenient as having something that would
work for arbitrary objects at arbitrary moments, but it works almost
exactly as you describe for the file object above, and it can be quite neat
and tidy.

Best wishes,

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://mail.python.org/pipermail/python-list/attachments/20140203/b8ffd239/attachment.html>

More information about the Python-list mailing list