Python dictionary from an object's fields


Question

Do you know if there is a built-in function to build a dictionary from an arbitrary object? I'd like to do something like this:

>>> class Foo:
...     bar = 'hello'
...     baz = 'world'
...
>>> f = Foo()
>>> props(f)
{ 'bar' : 'hello', 'baz' : 'world' }

NOTE: It should not include methods. Only fields.

1
294
10/30/2016 11:54:14 PM

Accepted Answer

Note that best practice in Python 2.7 is to use new-style classes (not needed with Python 3), i.e.

class Foo(object):
   ...

Also, there's a difference between an 'object' and a 'class'. To build a dictionary from an arbitrary object, it's sufficient to use __dict__. Usually, you'll declare your methods at class level and your attributes at instance level, so __dict__ should be fine. For example:

>>> class A(object):
...   def __init__(self):
...     self.b = 1
...     self.c = 2
...   def do_nothing(self):
...     pass
...
>>> a = A()
>>> a.__dict__
{'c': 2, 'b': 1}

A better approach (suggested by robert in comments) is the builtin vars function:

>>> vars(a)
{'c': 2, 'b': 1}

Alternatively, depending on what you want to do, it might be nice to inherit from dict. Then your class is already a dictionary, and if you want you can override getattr and/or setattr to call through and set the dict. For example:

class Foo(dict):
    def __init__(self):
        pass
    def __getattr__(self, attr):
        return self[attr]

    # etc...
367
11/9/2017 10:28:44 AM

Instead of x.__dict__, it's actually more pythonic to use vars(x).


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