This is a variation on the existing recipe "Constants in Python" by Alex Martelli. It binds a variable to the type value at first usage. Further usage is then restricted to values of the same type. This avoids a variable of, say, type string to be re-used to contain an integer.
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""" Constant types in Python. """ __doc__ = """ This is a variation on "Constants in Python" by Alex Martelli, from which the solution idea was borrowed, and enhanced according suggestions of Zoran Isailovski. In Python, any variable can be re-bound at will -- and modules don't let you define special methods such as an instance's __setattr__ to stop attribute re-binding. Easy solution (in Python 2.1 and up): use an instance as "module"... In Python 2.1 and up, no check is made any more to force entries in sys.modules to be actually module objects. You can install an instance object there and take advantage of its attribute-access special methods (e.g., as in this snippet, to prevent type rebindings. Usage: import consttype consttype.magic = 23 # Bind an attribute to a type ONCE consttype.magic = 88 # Re-bind it to a same type again consttype.magic = "one" # But NOT re-bind it to another type: this raises consttype._ConstError del consttype.magic # Remove an named attribute consttype.__del__() # Remove all attributes """ class _consttype: class _ConstTypeError(TypeError): pass def __repr__(self): return "Constant type definitions." def __setattr__(self, name, value): v = self.__dict__.get(name, value) if type(v) is not type(value): raise self._ConstTypeError, "Can't rebind %s to %s" % (type(v), type(value)) self.__dict__[name] = value def __del__(self): self.__dict__.clear() import sys sys.modules[__name__] = _consttype()
I liked the constant idea as suggested by Alex, and wondered whether I could use this to implement it for a strong type checking mechanism ala Modula-2, which I used a lot in the past. To my amazement, it was simpler then I thought. But, as always, improvements are welcome.