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Classes in Python - Python

Python is a very object-oriented language, which makes it easy to work with. For those of you who may not be familiar with the concept of object-oriented programming languages, Peyton provides a complete, easy-to-understand explanation, and then gives a number of examples that illustrate how object orientation works in Python.

  1. Object Orientation in Python
  2. Another Way to Understand Object Orientation
  3. Classes in Python
  4. More About Creating Classes
By: Peyton McCullough
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February 14, 2005

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Now that you have an understanding of what object orientation is, we'll move on to Python. The first logical step is to create a class. You can define a class pretty much anywhere, including inside conditional statements. Defining a class is simple:


class SomeClass:


The next step is to add a bit of data to the class. There isn't anything special or unique about this step:


class SomeClass:

  "Just some class...that's all."

  someNumber = 127 + 1 / 360 * 2 + 1 / 2

  someString = 'Star Office 7'


You can also add methods. These are defined just like functions, except they take self as their first argument:


class SomeClass

  "Just some class...that's all."

  someNumber 127 + 1 / 360 * 2 + 1 / 2

  someString = 'Star Office 7'

  def someFunction ( self ):

     return someString + ' tastes like chicken.'

  def someOtherFunction ( self ):

     return False


As you can see, it's pretty simple to create a class with data and methods.


Next, we must create an instance of our class, or an object derived from it. This is extremely simple and brief:


someObject = SomeClass()


We can now access the variables defined in our class:





Calling the methods defined in our class is also very simple:





It is also possible to define attributes after we have created the object:


someObject.someRandomVariable = 5


Similarly, it is possible to clean up what we create:


del someObject.someRandomVariable


Let's say we want to define a variable when we first create an instance of our class. This can be accomplished by creating a special method of our class, __init__. The method will be executed when our class is first created.


class AnotherClass:

  def __init__ ( self, anotherArgument ):

      self.anotherArgument = anotherArgument


anotherObject = AnotherClass ( 'Hello object-oriented world.' )

print anotherObject.anotherArgument # "Hello object-oriented world."


>>> More Python Articles          >>> More By Peyton McCullough

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