[Tutor] basic decorator question

Mats Wichmann mats at wichmann.us
Mon Jul 24 11:49:03 EDT 2017

On 07/24/2017 08:33 AM, bruce wrote:
> Hi.
> I've seen sites discuss decorators, as functions that "wrap" and
> return functions.
> But, I'm sooo confuzed! My real question though, can a decorator have
> multiple internal functions? All the examples I've seen so far have a
> single internal function.
> And, if a decorator can have multiple internal functions, how would
> the calling sequence work?
> But as a start, if you have pointers to any really "basic" step by
> step sites/examples I can look at, I'd appreciate it. I suspect I'm
> getting flumoxed by something simple.

wrap and return are not two distinct things, they're part of the same
process...  the general concept is that a decorator changes the result
of a function without modifying the function itself by returning a new
function object which does some other stuff in addition to running the
code of the original function object.

This is a really simple wrapper:

def my_decorator(some_function):
    def wrapper():
        print("Stuff happening before some_function() is called.")
        print("Stuff after some_function() is called.")
    return wrapper

If you have an unwrapped function:

def foo():
    print "This is the unwrapped function"

You can show this in action like this:

bar = my_decorator(foo)

function names are just handles to the function object, so the middle
line of those three is passing the original function object referred to
by foo to my_decorator, whose inner function returns a function object
which is runs some code before and after the original function.  If the
undecorated fuction does not need to be referred to, the previous often
gets written as:

foo = my_decorator(foo)

Now to add Python's magical decorator syntax:

def bar():
    print "This is another unwrapped function"


So all the @my_decorator bit does is provide shorthand for the syntax

bar = my_decorator(bar)

Wasn't ultra-clear on your original question; if you wanted the
"happening before" and "happening after" to call out to other functions
instead of doing a print, you can. Is that what you mean by multiple
internal functions?

Does this clarify at all?

Do hunt some, there are some really good tutorials on decorators.

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