How to adapt the Singleton pattern? (Deprecation warning)


Question

Few years ago I found an implementation of the Singleton pattern in Python by Duncan Booth:

class Singleton(object):
    """
    Singleton class by Duncan Booth.
    Multiple object variables refers to the same object.
    http://web.archive.org/web/20090619190842/http://www.suttoncourtenay.org.uk/duncan/accu/pythonpatterns.html#singleton-and-the-borg
    """
    _instance = None

    def __new__(cls, *args, **kwargs):
        if not cls._instance:
            cls._instance = super(Singleton, cls).__new__(
                               cls, *args, **kwargs)
        return cls._instance

The same approach is also described in question "Is there a simple, elegant way to define Singletons in Python?"

I use the Singleton via sub-classing:
class Settings(Singleton)
class Debug(Singleton)

Recently I made some changes to the program and got this warning:

/media/KINGSTON/Sumid/src/miscutil.py:39: DeprecationWarning: 
object.__new__() takes no parameters
cls._instance = super(Singleton, cls).__new__(cls, *args, **kwargs)

I found explanation (by Guido) about __new__ deprecation which says that the parameters are not used at all. Passing an argument which is not needed can be symptom of a bug.

So I decided to clear the parameters:

class Singleton(object):
_instance = None

def __new__(cls):
    if not cls._instance:
        cls._instance = super(Singleton, cls).__new__()
    return cls._instance

Which resulted in following exception:

Traceback (most recent call last):
 File "sumid.py", line 1168, in <module>
  settings = Settings()
 File "/media/KINGSTON/Sumid/src/miscutil.py", line 45, in __new__
  cls._instance = super(Singleton, cls).__new__()
 TypeError: object.__new__(): not enough arguments

When I modify the line to cls._instance = super(Singleton, cls).__new__(cls), I'll get:

Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "sumid.py", line 1174, in <module>
    debug = Debug(settings)
TypeError: __new__() takes exactly 1 argument (2 given)

Gimmel suggest another solution: _instance = type.__new__(cls). For me it breaks the inheritance:

Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "sumid.py", line 1168, in <module>
    settings = Settings()
  File "/media/KINGSTON/Sumid/src/miscutil.py", line 40, in __new__
    _instance = type.__new__(cls)
TypeError: type.__new__(Settings): Settings is not a subtype of type

The same problem has also Menno Smits. But I don't understand the solution suggested. Moreover I have no multiple inheritance in relevant code.

I didn't try the another example in "Is there a simple, elegant way to define Singletons in Python?", but at a glance it probably will have the same problem.

I use the Singleton pattern in a program and I don't want to rewrite it completely just because one warning. Thus following answers wont help me:

  • Singleton is wrong. Don't use the Singleton at all.
  • Use Borg instead, it's more pythonic.
  • Use module instead of a class.

To conclude I'll repeat the question:
How to adapt the Singleton pattern with consideration of the deprecation warning with the minimal impact to existing code?

Edit: Line cls._instance = object.__new__(cls) raises the TypeError when the Child's init takes an argument:

class Child(Singleton):
    def __init__(self,param=None):
        print(param)
        print("Doing another stuff.")

ch = Child("Some stuff") 
1
14
5/23/2017 11:53:21 AM

Accepted Answer

You need to drop any additional arguments you are passing when you construct the object. Change the offending line to:

        cls._instance = object.__new__(cls)

or

        cls._instance = super(Singleton, cls).__new__(cls)

though I think you'll be fine with the first (diamond inheritance and singletons sound as though they shouldn't be mixed).

P.S. I did try this suggestion and it works for me so I don't know why it didn't work for you.

Edit in response to @dragonx's comment: As pointed out in the comments, object.__new__ will throw an exception if you pass on *args, **kwargs so the super call to __new__ should not include any arguments apart from cls. This wasn't the case when the original article was written. Also of course if you choose to base your singleton on some other type such as a tuple you would then need to pass the appropriate arguments.

9
8/10/2015 8:49:15 AM

So based on the answers from @Sven and @Duncan I found a solution which works for me. The problem actually wasn't in the line of the code raising the TypeError, but in the signature of the __new__() method. The call of the object.__new__(cls) shall be without the *args, **kwargs, but they have to remain in the Singleton.__new__() definition. This is the modified Singleton:

class Singleton(object):
    """
    Singleton class by Duncan Booth.
    Multiple object variables refers to the same object.
    http://www.suttoncourtenay.org.uk/duncan/accu/pythonpatterns.html
    """
   _instance = None

    def __new__(cls, *args, **kwargs):
        if not cls._instance:
            cls._instance = super(Singleton, cls).__new__(cls)
        return cls._instance

And this is an example of sub-classing (which was the issue):

class Child(Singleton):  
    def __init__(self,param=None):  
            print param  
            print 'Doing another stuff'  

ch=Child('Some stuff')

I still don't understand why the signature of Child's __init__() has to match to Singleton's `new(), but this solution works.


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