Title: Provide a direct function for types.SimpleNamespace()
Type: enhancement Stage: resolved
Components: Interpreter Core Versions: Python 3.5
Status: closed Resolution: rejected
Dependencies: Superseder:
Assigned To: Nosy List: barry, berker.peksag, eric.snow, ezio.melotti, mark, mark.dickinson, martin.panter, ncoghlan, pitrou, rhettinger, serhiy.storchaka, terry.reedy
Priority: normal Keywords:

Created on 2014-08-02 08:02 by mark, last changed 2019-02-25 06:22 by rhettinger. This issue is now closed.

Messages (15)
msg224539 - (view) Author: Mark Summerfield (mark) * Date: 2014-08-02 08:02
Right now object() does not accept any args and returns the lightest possible featureless object (i.e., without even a __dict__).

This is great.

However, it is really useful sometimes to be able to create an object to hold some editable state (so not a namedtuple). Right now this can be done with types.SimpleNamespace().

I think it would be a useful enhancement to have object() work as it does now, but to allow it to accept kwargs in which case it would provide identical functionality to types.SimpleNamespace().

This arises from an email I wrote to the python mailinglist:

But I also think it would be useful more generally.
msg224578 - (view) Author: Serhiy Storchaka (serhiy.storchaka) * (Python committer) Date: 2014-08-02 18:39
This will be fragile because the behavior will be depend from the number of keyword argument. Hypothetic example:

>>> kwargs = {'a': 1}
>>> obj = object(**kwargs)
>>> obj.b = 2  # success
>>> kwargs = {}  # empty
>>> obj = object(**kwargs)
>>> obj.b = 2
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "<stdin>", line 1, in <module>
AttributeError: 'object' object has no attribute 'b'

For now you need only one or two line of code to declare new class.

>>> class Object: pass
>>> obj = Object()
>>> obj.a = 1
>>> obj.b = 2
msg224582 - (view) Author: Mark Lawrence (BreamoreBoy) * Date: 2014-08-02 19:06
As a work around for the originator how about

>>> pyobject = object # keep reference to built-in.
>>> from types import SimpleNamespace as object
>>> help(object)
Help on class SimpleNamespace in module types:

msg224595 - (view) Author: Terry J. Reedy (terry.reedy) * (Python committer) Date: 2014-08-02 22:54
Making types.SimpleNamespace more easily available might be a good idea. Screwing around with our fundamental base class to do so is not.  Neither is rebinding the builtin name 'object'.  Find a different way to accomplish the goal.

SimpleNamespace *could* have been added to builtins, but was not.  Instead, it was added to types, which is the catchall for types not used enough to be in builtins.  Someone might check the issue or list discussion as to why.

At one time object had the bug of silently ignoring arguments. Years ago, Guido insisted that this be fixed and wrote patches himself. See #1683368. For one thing, raising the exception catches bugs with cooperative multiple inheritance and super calls. I believe having object() return a subclass of object that in not a superclass of other classes would be worse than the previous bug.

I think this idea should have been left on python-list or moved to python-ideas for further development.  I am sure that the proposal as stated should be rejected.
msg224612 - (view) Author: Mark Summerfield (mark) * Date: 2014-08-03 07:02
I changed my suggestion but did so on the mailing list instead of here:

This (importing & using types.SimpleNamespace()) is too much for children (& beginners).

But perhaps what I should be asking for is for a new built-in that does what types.SimpleNamespace() does, so that without any import you can write, say,

foo = namespace(a=1, b=2)
# or
bar = namespace()
bar.a = 1

where under the hood namespace has the same behavior as types.SimpleNamespace().

Naturally, I understand that adding a new name is a big deal and may be too much to ask for beginners. 

I've renamed the issue to reflect this (although I don't know if that will work).

Alternatively, I (or someone) could just close the issue as "won't fix"; it was just an idea.
msg224639 - (view) Author: Barry A. Warsaw (barry) * (Python committer) Date: 2014-08-03 14:50
I'm not in favor of changing object() but exposing types.SimpleNamespace as built-in namespace() doesn't seem like such a bad idea, especially given Tim's penultimate Zen aphorism.
msg224966 - (view) Author: Mark Dickinson (mark.dickinson) * (Python committer) Date: 2014-08-06 19:55
+1 for the 'namespace' builtin.  It looks as though whoever wrote `SimpleNamespace.__repr__` anticipated this:

>>> ns = types.SimpleNamespace(a=3, b=4)
>>> ns
namespace(a=3, b=4)
msg224968 - (view) Author: Nick Coghlan (ncoghlan) * (Python committer) Date: 2014-08-06 21:43
types.SimpleNamespace was added as an implementation detail of the "sys.implementation" PEP. It's not a builtin yet, solely because we get far fewer arguments about the contents of the types module than we do builtins :)

I'd be +1 on a PEP to also expose it as a "namespace" builtin.
msg224970 - (view) Author: Barry A. Warsaw (barry) * (Python committer) Date: 2014-08-06 23:07
On Aug 06, 2014, at 09:43 PM, Nick Coghlan wrote:

>I'd be +1 on a PEP to also expose it as a "namespace" builtin.

Is a PEP necessary?  Seems like a rather isolated and simple enhancement.
msg224971 - (view) Author: Nick Coghlan (ncoghlan) * (Python committer) Date: 2014-08-06 23:16
It's a new builtin, so I think at least a simple PEP is needed for
traceability. The existence of types.SimpleNamespace should let us duck 99%
of the bikeshedding - it's a new name for an existing type, not a new type.
msg224973 - (view) Author: Antoine Pitrou (pitrou) * (Python committer) Date: 2014-08-06 23:23
Agreed that a PEP would be necessary, even if it ends up sweet and simple.
msg225002 - (view) Author: Mark Summerfield (mark) * Date: 2014-08-07 09:59
I'd be happy to draft a PEP if it is needed, if no one else has the time/inclination.
msg232339 - (view) Author: Eric Snow (eric.snow) * (Python committer) Date: 2014-12-09 00:30
> It's not a builtin yet, solely because we get far fewer arguments about the contents of the types module than we do builtins :)

Exactly.  As Mark noted, I did have hopes of it reaching that status though. :) So +1 from me for adding the namespace builtin!
msg232354 - (view) Author: Raymond Hettinger (rhettinger) * (Python committer) Date: 2014-12-09 08:50
-1 on moving this to builtin status.  For a long time, we've tried to keep a back pressure against adding more builtins (in part because it increases the learning curve for the core language).   The SimpleNamespace() type would need to become *much* more popular to warrant becoming a builtin (even then, other tools such as copy.copy() or collections.OrderedDict() would likely be able to make stronger claims).  AFAICT, the SimpleNamespace() class has been used exactly once is the standard library (in venv) and almost not at all in published code.  IMO, it is *very* far from warranting builtin status.
msg336499 - (view) Author: Raymond Hettinger (rhettinger) * (Python committer) Date: 2019-02-25 06:22
Five years have passed with no one pushing this forward.  During that time, types.SimpleNamespace() has diminished in popularity and dataclasses have risen as a better general purpose data holder.

Marking this as closed.
Date User Action Args
2019-02-25 06:22:15rhettingersetstatus: open -> closed
resolution: rejected
messages: + msg336499

stage: test needed -> resolved
2019-02-24 22:58:19BreamoreBoysetnosy: - BreamoreBoy
2015-07-21 17:18:50berker.peksagsetnosy: + berker.peksag
2015-07-21 07:41:48ethan.furmansetnosy: - ethan.furman
2014-12-09 08:50:06rhettingersetnosy: + rhettinger
messages: + msg232354
2014-12-09 00:30:45eric.snowsetnosy: + eric.snow
messages: + msg232339
2014-08-07 09:59:27marksetmessages: + msg225002
2014-08-06 23:23:01pitrousetnosy: + pitrou
messages: + msg224973
2014-08-06 23:16:42ncoghlansetmessages: + msg224971
2014-08-06 23:07:57barrysetmessages: + msg224970
2014-08-06 21:43:47ncoghlansetmessages: + msg224968
2014-08-06 19:58:12ezio.melottisetnosy: + ncoghlan, ezio.melotti
2014-08-06 19:55:43mark.dickinsonsetnosy: + mark.dickinson
messages: + msg224966
2014-08-04 01:31:45martin.pantersetnosy: + martin.panter
2014-08-03 14:50:31barrysetmessages: + msg224639
2014-08-03 07:02:31marksetmessages: + msg224612
title: Make object() behave exactly like types.SimpleNamespace() if given kwargs -> Provide a direct function for types.SimpleNamespace()
2014-08-02 22:54:24terry.reedysetnosy: + terry.reedy

messages: + msg224595
stage: test needed
2014-08-02 19:06:02BreamoreBoysetnosy: + BreamoreBoy
messages: + msg224582
2014-08-02 18:39:02serhiy.storchakasetnosy: + serhiy.storchaka
messages: + msg224578
2014-08-02 16:55:15ethan.furmansetnosy: + ethan.furman
2014-08-02 16:08:32barrysetnosy: + barry
2014-08-02 08:02:28markcreate