Greg Greg - 12 days ago 10
Python Question

How is the __getattribute__ method used?

I want to override access to one variable in a class, but return all others normally. How do I accomplish this with

__getattribute__
?

I tried the following (which should also illustrate what I'm trying to do) but I get a recursion error:

class D(object):
def __init__(self):
self.test=20
self.test2=21
def __getattribute__(self,name):
if name=='test':
return 0.
else:
return self.__dict__[name]

>>> print D().test
0.0
>>> print D().test2
...
RuntimeError: maximum recursion depth exceeded in cmp

Answer

You get a recursion error because you call the same function, your __getattribute__. If you use object's __getattribute__ instead, it works:

class D(object):
    def __init__(self):
        self.test=20
        self.test2=21
    def __getattribute__(self,name):
        if name=='test':
            return 0.
        else:
            return object.__getattribute__(self, name)

This works because object (in this example) is the base class. By calling the base version of __getattribute__ you avoid the recursive hell you were in before.

Ipython output with code in foo.py:

In [1]: from foo import *

In [2]: d = D()

In [3]: d.test
Out[3]: 0.0

In [4]: d.test2
Out[4]: 21

Update:

There's something in the section titled More attribute access for new-style classes in the current documentation, where they recommend doing exactly this to avoid the infinite recursion.