Is this code Pythonic?

def emit_decorator(method, signal_name):
    def decorated(self, *args, **kwargs):
        retval = method(self, *args, **kwargs)
        getattr(self, signal_name).emit()
        return retval
    return decorated

class Model(base.Transformer, Node):
    Transformer subclass that implements the Model of the Model-View-Controller
    def __init__(self, *args, **kwargs):
        super(Model, self).__init__(*args, **kwargs)

    modelChanged = pyqtSignal()

    def create_view(self, parent=None):
        return View(self, parent)

for x in ('importance_changed',
    setattr(Model, x,
            emit_decorator(getattr(Model, x), 'modelChanged'))

Final decorator code:

from functools import update_wrapper

def method_emit_decorator(signal_name):
    def method_decorator(method):
        def decorated(self, *args, **kwargs):
            retval = method(self, *args, **kwargs)
            getattr(self, signal_name).emit()
            return retval
        return update_wrapper(decorated, method)
    return method_decorator

def class_emit_decorator(signal_name_to_method_names_dict):
    def class_decorator(cls):
        retval = cls
        for signal_name, method_names in (
            for method_name in method_names:
                method = method_emit_decorator(signal_name)(
                    getattr(cls, method_name))
                setattr(retval, method_name, method)
        return retval
    return class_decorator

1 Answer 1


Modifying the class after defining it smells. That is, its not necessarily a bad idea but one should explore options before resorting to it.

When "decorating" a function you should use the functools.wraps decorator. It will make the decorated function look more like the original.

The code you are replacing looks like:

def importance_changed(self):
    return_value = super(Model, self).importance_changed()
    return return_value

Your code is harder to read and longer then just writing those two functions. Its not really worth implementing what you've done just for two functions. However, if you have a lot of functions then the situation changes.

Your emit_decorator function isn't a decorator. Dectorators have to take exactly one argument, (the function they are wrapping) to be used with the @syntax.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for the great tips! I already have four such functions, so I thought this would be an easy way to save on boilerplate. I don't know of any way of doing this without modifying the class after defining it. Do you? \$\endgroup\$
    – Neil G
    Jun 9, 2011 at 22:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Neil G, I do, but they are uglier then what you are doing. I might think about defining a class dectorator that connects all _changed() function to a modelChanged() signal. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 9, 2011 at 22:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ I was just thinking along the same lines. Thanks a lot for your input. \$\endgroup\$
    – Neil G
    Jun 9, 2011 at 23:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ I have taken all of your suggestions into account and produced two decorators. \$\endgroup\$
    – Neil G
    Jun 14, 2011 at 6:46

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.