Coding Style: Defining Functions within Methods?

Discussion in 'Python' started by Harry Pehkonen, Sep 5, 2003.

  1. I have been defining new class methods when I'm trying to simplify
    some code. But I'm thinking I should just define functions within
    that method because they aren't useful from the outside anyway.


    class Mess(object):
    def complicated(self, count):
    for i in count:
    def do_loop(self, i):


    class Cleaner(object):
    def complicated(self, count):
    def do_loop(i)
    for i in count:

    The point is that do_loop is now not ``contaminating'' things. I
    suppose do_loop could be __do_loop, but it would still show up in
    places where I don't think it should (such as dir(Mess)).


    Harry Pehkonen, Sep 5, 2003
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  2. Harry Pehkonen

    JCM Guest

    Generally I also find it cleanest to push functions down into the most
    nested scope possible; it makes it clear that these are helper
    functions and not meant to be called externally.
    JCM, Sep 5, 2003
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  3. Harry Pehkonen

    max Guest

    I love this style and really miss it in other languages...
    my 2c.
    max, Sep 5, 2003
  4. Harry Pehkonen

    Eddie Corns Guest

    Definitely useful, especially as the inner function can see the same variables
    as the outer (though I do keep getting bitten when I expect to be able update

    Eddie Corns, Sep 5, 2003
  5. I like defining nested functions except for the fact that a definition is executable code
    in itself, and will be re-executed each time the outer function or method is called. I'm
    not sure how long MAKE_FUNCTION or MAKE_CLOSURE take to execute, but IWT it must mean allocating
    and glueing together the dynamic elements necessary for a distinct function/closure instance,
    and then disposing of them at some point on/after their going out of scope, vs. e.g. just locating
    a sibling method.

    OTOH, the outer overhead may become relatively insignificant if the inner is called boocoo times
    in a loop and/or recursively.

    On the third hand, clear code will outweigh any performance issues for much code.

    Bengt Richter
    Bengt Richter, Sep 5, 2003
  6. It's also possible to generate classes by using a factory function.
    For an example of it getting a bit out of control see the code below.



    from __future__ import division
    from Tkinter import *

    def template(x=None):
    class T(tuple):
    def __new__(cls, *args):
    return tuple.__new__(cls, args)
    def geta(self): return self[0]
    def getb(self): return self[1]
    a,b = map(property,[geta,getb])
    return T

    Point = template()
    Rect = template(Point)
    Cube = template(Rect)

    class Transformer(Cube):

    def __init__(self, *args):
    a,b = self.a,self.b
    fx = (b.b.a-b.a.a)/(a.b.a-a.a.a)
    fy = (b.b.b-b.a.b)/(a.b.b-a.a.b)
    f = min(fx,fy)
    wxc = (a.a.a+a.b.a)/2
    wyc = (a.a.b+a.b.b)/2
    vxc = (b.a.a+b.b.a)/2
    vyc = (b.a.b+b.b.b)/2
    xc = vxc-f*wxc
    yc = vyc-f*wyc
    self.f,self.xc,self.yc = f,xc,yc

    def transform(self, R):
    f,xc,yc = self.f,self.xc,self.yc
    p1 = Point(f*R.a.a+xc, f*R.a.b+yc)
    p2 = Point(f*R.b.a+xc, f*R.b.b+yc)
    return Rect(p1,p2)

    class Cartesian:

    def __init__(self, master):
    self.canvas = Canvas(master,width=500,height=500)
    self.canvas.pack(fill= BOTH, expand=YES)
    master.bind("<Escape>", lambda event='ignored',
    m=master: m.destroy())
    master.bind("<Configure>", self.configure)

    def configure(self, event):

    def draw(self):
    c = self.canvas
    T = Transformer(self.b,self.a)
    colors ='Red Green Blue Magenta Cyan Yellow'.split()
    for i in range(50,0,-1):
    R = Rect(Point(-i,-i),Point(i,i))

    def geta(self):
    c = self.canvas
    p1 = Point(0,0)
    p2 = Point(c.winfo_width(), c.winfo_height())
    return Rect(p1,p2)

    def getb(self):
    a = 50
    p1 = Point(-a,-a)
    p2 = Point(a,a)
    return Rect(p1,p2)

    a,b = map(property,[geta,getb])

    def main():
    root = Tk()
    ca = Cartesian(root)

    if __name__=='__main__':
    Anton Vredegoor, Sep 6, 2003
  7. Harry Pehkonen

    JCM Guest

    This doesn't need to be slow--it's up to the implementation to try
    to be as smart as possible. A compiler can do lambda-lifting to
    transform a program with nested functions to one without, so there
    really is nothing inherently slow about nested functions.
    JCM, Sep 7, 2003
  8. Agreed, but python is very dynamic, so "as smart as possible" may cost
    more overall than calculatedly "dumb" in many cases. As it stands, the way
    you code it will be pretty much the way it happens, so there will be some cost
    to nesting functions. I just don't know how much without timing it. ... resisting ...
    temptation ...

    Succeeded, for now ;-)

    Bengt Richter
    Bengt Richter, Sep 7, 2003
  9. Bengt, an 11 day vacation should not be spent on the Mote or on a Rama
    class spaceship, taking account of the time taken to go and come back;
    perhaps you should program your vacations as efficiently as your code

    Unless you sent your Motie to impersonate you while you're still
    sight-seeing :)

    PS just a SF reference...
    Christos TZOTZIOY Georgiou, Sep 8, 2003
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