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For 2021 - online Python 3 training - see ((here)).

Our plans were to retire in summer 2020 and see the world, but Coronavirus has lead us into a lot of lockdown programming in Python 3 and PHP 7.
We can now offer tailored online training - small groups, real tutors - works really well for groups of 4 to 14 delegates. Anywhere in the world; course language English.

Please ask about private 'maintenance' training for Python 2, Tcl, Perl, PHP, Lua, etc.
Python Properties - how and why

When you're being taught Object Oriented Programming, you'll usually be encouraged to access all the various elements within each object through methods rather than by going directly at the variables that hold properties within the object directly. And yet this will often result (depending on the language) in you having to write a whole series of short property accessor functions. Here's an example of the sort of thing that I mean in Python:

  def setPubyear(self,year):
    self.pubyear = year
  
  def getPubyear(self):
    return self.pubyear


The reason you're taught (and I, too, teach) the use of methods rather than direct variable access is because it gives you a far greater flexibility later on. Hard coding variable names within objects into applications makes those variables a part of the API (Application Program Interface) and the provider of the class is then constrained in future enhancements. And that's a double constraint, because there's no intermediate code layer in which features that may become necessary (capitalisation, space trimming, logging access etc) can be added. In other words - by directly accessing variables, you're building up a potential update and maintenance problem.

But wouldn't it be nice in the application to be able to access properties / attributes of an object as if they were simple variables, rather than having to use the extended syntax of calling setter and getter methods? Well - in Python you can, using a property. Here's how it works:

• within your class, you declare that variable name = property (getter, setter, deleter, doc) where getter, setter and deleter are the methods to run when a property is called up. You'll always need to provide a getter (otherwise there's little point in trying to define a property), but the other parameters are optional.

• within your application, you access the property as if it was a variable within the object, but within the class it gets diverted to the code.

Example:

Defining a property:
  author = property(lambda x:x._author , None)

Making use of that property:
  print nineteen.author

Complete example - [here] from the course I've been giving in Oxford for the last couple of days. And that gives me an excuse to illustrate my post with a picture I took when walking into the location at which I was training along the River Thames

(written 2013-05-18, updated 2013-05-25)

 
Associated topics are indexed as below, or enter http://melksh.am/nnnn for individual articles
Y112 - Python - Objects - Intermediate
  [296] Using a Python dictionary as a holder of object attributes - (2005-04-30)
  [383] Overloading of operators on standard objects in Python - (2005-07-19)
  [477] Class, static and unbound variables - (2005-10-25)
  [656] Think about your design even if you don't use full UML - (2006-03-24)
  [831] Comparison of Object Oriented Philosophy - Python, Java, C++, Perl - (2006-08-13)
  [903] Pieces of Python - (2006-10-23)
  [964] Practical polymorphism in action - (2006-12-04)
  [1146] __new__ v __init__ - python constructor alternatives? - (2007-04-14)
  [1217] What are factory and singleton classes? - (2007-06-04)
  [1517] Python - formatting objects - (2008-01-24)
  [1644] Using a utility method to construct objects of different types - Python - (2008-05-17)
  [1661] Equality, sameness and identity - Python - (2008-05-31)
  [1819] Calling base class constructors - (2008-10-03)
  [2368] Python - fresh examples of all the fundamentals - (2009-08-20)
  [2409] TypeError: super() argument 1 must be type, not classobj (Python) - (2009-09-18)
  [2485] How do I set up a constant in Python? - (2009-10-31)
  [2693] Methods that run on classes (static methods) in Python - (2010-03-25)
  [2717] The Multiple Inheritance Conundrum, interfaces and mixins - (2010-04-11)
  [2720] Multiple inheritance in Python - complete working example - (2010-04-14)
  [2722] Mixins example in Python - (2010-04-14)
  [2764] Python decorators - your own, staticmethod and classmethod - (2010-05-14)
  [2785] The Light bulb moment when people see how Object Orientation works in real use - (2010-05-28)
  [2889] Should Python classes each be in their own file? - (2010-07-27)
  [2905] Defining static methods in Python - (2010-08-05)
  [2994] Python - some common questions answered in code examples - (2010-10-10)
  [3002] A list of special method and attribute names in Python - (2010-10-17)
  [3442] A demonstration of how many Python facilities work together - (2011-09-16)
  [3472] Static variables in functions - and better ways using objects - (2011-10-10)
  [3524] Metaclasses (Python) and Metatables (Lua) - (2011-11-17)
  [3796] Backquote, backtic, str and repr in Python - conversion object to string - (2012-07-05)
  [3887] Inheritance, Composition and Associated objects - when to use which - Python example - (2012-10-10)
  [4028] Really Simple Class and Inheritance example in Python - (2013-03-04)
  [4344] Python base and inherited classes, test harness and unit testing - new examples - (2014-12-07)
  [4356] Object factories in C++, Python, PHP and Perl - (2014-12-19)
  [4366] Changing what operators do on objects - a comparison across different programming languages - (2014-12-26)
  [4410] A good example of recursion - a real use in Python - (2015-02-01)
  [4449] Spike solution, refactoring into encapsulated object methods - good design practise - (2015-03-05)
  [4450] Deciding whether to use parameters, conditional statements or subclasses - (2015-03-05)
  [4541] Setting up and tearing down with the Python with keyword - (2015-10-16)
  [4649] Object and Static methods - what is the difference; example in Python 3 - (2016-02-17)
  [4717] with in Python - examples of use, and of defining your own context - (2016-11-02)
  [4718] Defining an object that is a modified standard type in Python - (2016-11-02)
  [4719] Nesting decorators - (2016-11-02)


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Django - first steps - Updated
Some other Articles
Using object orientation for non-physical objects
Melksham Chamber of Commerce - Report for AGM, 21st May 2013
Perl design patterns example
Django - first steps - Updated
Python Properties - how and why
More things to make sure that we do NOT do ...
Identity in Python
A reminder of why we opened Well House Manor for our customers
Test Driven Development in Python - Customer Comes First
Quick and easy - showing Python data hander output via a browser
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This is a page archived from The Horse's Mouth at http://www.wellho.net/horse/ - the diary and writings of Graham Ellis. Every attempt was made to provide current information at the time the page was written, but things do move forward in our business - new software releases, price changes, new techniques. Please check back via our main site for current courses, prices, versions, etc - any mention of a price in "The Horse's Mouth" cannot be taken as an offer to supply at that price.

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