Advanced Class Topics

This chapter concludes our look at OOP in Python by presenting a few more advanced class-related topics: we will survey subclassing built-in types, "new-style" class changes and extensions, static and class methods, function decorators, and more.

As we've seen, Python's OOP model is, at its core, very simple, and some of the topics presented in this chapter are so advanced and optional that you may not encounter them very often in your Python applications-programming career. In the interest of completeness, though, we'll round out our discussion of classes with a brief look at these advanced tools for OOP work.

As usual, because this is the last chapter in this part of the book, it ends with a section on class-related "gotchas," and the set of lab exercises for this part. I encourage you to work through the exercises to help cement the ideas we've studied here. I also suggest working on or studying larger OOP Python projects as a supplement to this book. As with much in computing, the benefits of OOP tend to become more apparent with practice.

Content note: This chapter collects advanced class topics, but some are even too advanced for this chapter to cover well. Topics such as properties, descriptors, decorators, and metaclasses are only briefly mentioned here, and are covered more fully in the final part of this book. Be sure to look ahead for more complete examples and extended coverage of some of the subjects that fall into this chapter's category.

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