initializing "parameters" class in Python only once?

Steven D'Aprano steve at
Tue Jul 15 07:28:19 CEST 2014

On Mon, 14 Jul 2014 15:24:26 -0700, Catherine M Moroney wrote:

> The problem:  I'm writing a large Python program and I have a bunch of
> parameters (whose values are static) that I want to make available to
> the rest of the code with minimum overhead and duplicate processing.
> I think that the simplest way would be to create a file called
> "" and then simply have statements like a = 1, b = 2, etc. in
> there (no classes, no methods, just a bunch of declarations).

That sounds exactly right to me.

> But, some
> of these static parameters have to be calculated rather than simply
> hard-coded.

I don't think that should be a problem. You can include calculations:

a = 1
b = 2
c = a**2 + b**2 - a + 1

The only difficulty is if you want those values to be calculated on 
demand, rather than at program startup. If that's the case, I think the 
best solution is to turn them into functions:

def c():
    return a**2 + b**2 - a + 1

This, sadly, requires you to tell the difference between params that 
should be constants and those which should be function calls. If that is 
a serious problem, you should consider a singleton class with properties, 
but if the simpler solution works for you, stick to the simpler solution!

> I thought of creating a class called Params and having a bunch of
> methods (decorated with @classmethod) that set/calculate the value of
> all the parameters.  Easy enough, but then I have to create a Params
> object in every source file that uses these parameters, and that seems
> wasteful.

I don't think that Params with class methods is the best solution. I 
would do something like this:

# === module ===
class Params(object):
    a = 1
    b = 2

    def c(self):
        return self.a**2 + self.b**2 - self.a + 1

params = Params()
del Params  # hide the class

Then callers just say:

from params import params
print params.c

All modules now see the same params instance, so it is (almost) a 


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