Jeb Jeb - 1 year ago 68
Python Question

Usage of __slots__?

What is the purpose of

in Python — especially with respect to when would I want to use it and when not?

Answer Source

Quoting Jacob Hallen:

The proper use of __slots__ is to save space in objects. Instead of having a dynamic dict that allows adding attributes to objects at anytime, there is a static structure which does not allow additions after creation. This saves the overhead of one dict for every object that uses slots. While this is sometimes a useful optimization, it would be completely unnecessary if the Python interpreter was dynamic enough so that it would only require the dict when there actually were additions to the object.

Unfortunately there is a side effect to slots. They change the behavior of the objects that have slots in a way that can be abused by control freaks and static typing weenies. This is bad, because the control freaks should be abusing the metaclasses and the static typing weenies should be abusing decorators, since in Python, there should be only one obvious way of doing something.

Making CPython smart enough to handle saving space without __slots__ is a major undertaking, which is probably why it is not on the list of changes for P3k (yet).