1.2.9. Object-oriented programming (OOP)¶
Python supports object-oriented programming (OOP). The goals of OOP are:
- to organize the code, and
- to re-use code in similar contexts.
Here is a small example: we create a Student class, which is an object gathering several custom functions (methods) and variables (attributes), we will be able to use:
>>> class Student(object): ... def __init__(self, name): ... self.name = name ... def set_age(self, age): ... self.age = age ... def set_major(self, major): ... self.major = major ... >>> anna = Student('anna') >>> anna.set_age(21) >>> anna.set_major('physics')
In the previous example, the Student class has
set_major methods. Its attributes are
can call these methods and attributes with the following notation:
constructor is a special method we call with:
MyClass(init parameters if
Now, suppose we want to create a new class MasterStudent with the same
methods and attributes as the previous one, but with an additional
internship attribute. We won’t copy the previous class, but
inherit from it:
>>> class MasterStudent(Student): ... internship = 'mandatory, from March to June' ... >>> james = MasterStudent('james') >>> james.internship 'mandatory, from March to June' >>> james.set_age(23) >>> james.age 23
The MasterStudent class inherited from the Student attributes and methods.
Thanks to classes and object-oriented programming, we can organize code with different classes corresponding to different objects we encounter (an Experiment class, an Image class, a Flow class, etc.), with their own methods and attributes. Then we can use inheritance to consider variations around a base class and re-use code. Ex : from a Flow base class, we can create derived StokesFlow, TurbulentFlow, PotentialFlow, etc.