November 18, 2004
Generic Functions In Python

from Jacobus de Teramo's Das Buch Belial, 1473

Phillip Eby is adding generic functions to Python [via LtU]. It looks like you can do both type- and predicate- dispatch, and there's some support for different types of method combination.

From a short guide of how to use generic functions as an alternative to the Visitor pattern:

Lisp developers have been occasionally known to sneer at the Visitor pattern as a non-solution to a non-problem. Aside from any general tendency for Lisp programmers to sneer at things (ahem!), this is probably because with the Common Lisp Object System (CLOS), they have a delightful thing called a “generic function”.

The decorator syntax is a little weird, but this looks like the beginning of a powerful new feature for Python. Now if someone could just add easy, powerful macros.

Posted by jjwiseman at November 18, 2004 01:20 PM
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