Implementing the decorator pattern in Python


Question

I want to implement the decorator pattern in Python, and I wondered if there is a way to write a decorator that just implements the function it wants to modify, without writing boiler-plate for all the functions that are just forwarded to the decorated object. Like so:

class foo(object):
    def f1(self):
        print "original f1"
    def f2(self):
        print "original f2"

class foo_decorator(object):
    def __init__(self, decoratee):
        self._decoratee = decoratee
    def f1(self):
        print "decorated f1"
        self._decoratee.f1()
    def f2(self):              # I would like to leave that part out
        self._decoratee.f2()

I would like to have calls to foo_decorator.f2 forwarded to decoratee.f2 automatically. Is there a way to write a generic method that forwards all unimplemented function-calls to decoratee?

1
25
6/25/2010 2:45:33 PM

Accepted Answer

You could use __getattr__:

class foo(object):
    def f1(self):
        print "original f1"
    def f2(self):
        print "original f2"

class foo_decorator(object):
    def __init__(self, decoratee):
        self._decoratee = decoratee
    def f1(self):
        print "decorated f1"
        self._decoratee.f1()
    def __getattr__(self, name):
        return getattr(self._decoratee, name)

u = foo()
v = foo_decorator(u)
v.f1()
v.f2()
32
6/25/2010 3:00:17 PM

As an addendum to Philipp's answer; if you need to not only decorate, but preserve the type of an object, Python allows you to subclass an instance at runtime:

class foo(object):
    def f1(self):
        print "original f1"

    def f2(self):
        print "original f2"


class foo_decorator(object):
    def __new__(cls, decoratee):
        cls = type('decorated',
                   (foo_decorator, decoratee.__class__),
                   decoratee.__dict__)
        return object.__new__(cls)

    def f1(self):
        print "decorated f1"
        super(foo_decorator, self).f1()


u = foo()
v = foo_decorator(u)
v.f1()
v.f2()
print 'isinstance(v, foo) ==', isinstance(v, foo)

This is a bit more involved than strictly necessary for your example, where you know the class being decorated in advance.

This might suffice:

class foo_decorator(foo):
    def __init__(self, decoratee):
        self.__dict__.update(decoratee.__dict__)

    def f1(self):
        print "decorated f1"
        super(foo_decorator, self).f1()

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