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A First Look at Python Classes

Jul 29, 2009, 01:32 (4 Talkback[s])

"C has a feature called a 'struct'. Struct allows a group of variable assignments, of different data types, to be collected under a single name. The variables can be pointers to functions. Many 'instances' can be declared of a struct. The instance can be referred to by a pointer. The pointers can be stored in arrays. The structs can contain other structs.

"C++, and later Java, expanded the functionality of a struct in something called a class. Among other things, functions (methods), could now be part of a class. And the concept of 'private' data was created. Then languages like Python, Ruby and PHP relaxed the strict definitions of what a class should or has to be. The result is that today, we have a very useful mechanism or structure called a class, with commonality between languages.

"This article will explore the mechanics of classes in Python. It will not discuss the whole theory of object oriented programming. This article may serve, if you come from a C backround, to show that a class is just an enhanced struct."

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