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  1:mod:`abc` --- Abstract Base Classes
  2====================================
  3
  4.. module:: abc
  5   :synopsis: Abstract base classes according to PEP 3119.
  6.. moduleauthor:: Guido van Rossum
  7.. sectionauthor:: Georg Brandl
  8.. much of the content adapted from docstrings
  9
 10.. versionadded:: 2.6
 11
 12This module provides the infrastructure for defining an :term:`abstract base
 13class` (ABCs) in Python, as outlined in :pep:`3119`; see the PEP for why this
 14was added to Python. (See also :pep:`3141` and the :mod:`numbers` module
 15regarding a type hierarchy for numbers based on ABCs.)
 16
 17The :mod:`collections` module has some concrete classes that derive from
 18ABCs; these can, of course, be further derived. In addition the
 19:mod:`collections` module has some ABCs that can be used to test whether
 20a class or instance provides a particular interface, for example, is it
 21hashable or a mapping.
 22
 23
 24This module provides the following class:
 25
 26.. class:: ABCMeta
 27
 28   Metaclass for defining Abstract Base Classes (ABCs).
 29
 30   Use this metaclass to create an ABC.  An ABC can be subclassed directly, and
 31   then acts as a mix-in class.  You can also register unrelated concrete
 32   classes (even built-in classes) and unrelated ABCs as "virtual subclasses" --
 33   these and their descendants will be considered subclasses of the registering
 34   ABC by the built-in :func:`issubclass` function, but the registering ABC
 35   won't show up in their MRO (Method Resolution Order) nor will method
 36   implementations defined by the registering ABC be callable (not even via
 37   :func:`super`). [#]_
 38
 39   Classes created with a metaclass of :class:`ABCMeta` have the following method:
 40
 41   .. method:: register(subclass)
 42
 43      Register *subclass* as a "virtual subclass" of this ABC. For
 44      example::
 45
 46        from abc import ABCMeta
 47
 48        class MyABC:
 49            __metaclass__ = ABCMeta
 50
 51        MyABC.register(tuple)
 52
 53        assert issubclass(tuple, MyABC)
 54        assert isinstance((), MyABC)
 55
 56   You can also override this method in an abstract base class:
 57
 58   .. method:: __subclasshook__(subclass)
 59
 60      (Must be defined as a class method.)
 61
 62      Check whether *subclass* is considered a subclass of this ABC.  This means
 63      that you can customize the behavior of ``issubclass`` further without the
 64      need to call :meth:`register` on every class you want to consider a
 65      subclass of the ABC.  (This class method is called from the
 66      :meth:`__subclasscheck__` method of the ABC.)
 67
 68      This method should return ``True``, ``False`` or ``NotImplemented``.  If
 69      it returns ``True``, the *subclass* is considered a subclass of this ABC.
 70      If it returns ``False``, the *subclass* is not considered a subclass of
 71      this ABC, even if it would normally be one.  If it returns
 72      ``NotImplemented``, the subclass check is continued with the usual
 73      mechanism.
 74
 75      .. XXX explain the "usual mechanism"
 76
 77
 78   For a demonstration of these concepts, look at this example ABC definition::
 79
 80      class Foo(object):
 81          def __getitem__(self, index):
 82              ...
 83          def __len__(self):
 84              ...
 85          def get_iterator(self):
 86              return iter(self)
 87
 88      class MyIterable:
 89          __metaclass__ = ABCMeta
 90
 91          @abstractmethod
 92          def __iter__(self):
 93              while False:
 94                  yield None
 95
 96          def get_iterator(self):
 97              return self.__iter__()
 98
 99          @classmethod
100          def __subclasshook__(cls, C):
101              if cls is MyIterable:
102                  if any("__iter__" in B.__dict__ for B in C.__mro__):
103                      return True
104              return NotImplemented
105
106      MyIterable.register(Foo)
107
108   The ABC ``MyIterable`` defines the standard iterable method,
109   :meth:`__iter__`, as an abstract method.  The implementation given here can
110   still be called from subclasses.  The :meth:`get_iterator` method is also
111   part of the ``MyIterable`` abstract base class, but it does not have to be
112   overridden in non-abstract derived classes.
113
114   The :meth:`__subclasshook__` class method defined here says that any class
115   that has an :meth:`__iter__` method in its :attr:`__dict__` (or in that of
116   one of its base classes, accessed via the :attr:`__mro__` list) is
117   considered a ``MyIterable`` too.
118
119   Finally, the last line makes ``Foo`` a virtual subclass of ``MyIterable``,
120   even though it does not define an :meth:`__iter__` method (it uses the
121   old-style iterable protocol, defined in terms of :meth:`__len__` and
122   :meth:`__getitem__`).  Note that this will not make ``get_iterator``
123   available as a method of ``Foo``, so it is provided separately.
124
125
126It also provides the following decorators:
127
128.. function:: abstractmethod(function)
129
130   A decorator indicating abstract methods.
131
132   Using this decorator requires that the class's metaclass is :class:`ABCMeta` or
133   is derived from it.
134   A class that has a metaclass derived from :class:`ABCMeta`
135   cannot be instantiated unless all of its abstract methods and
136   properties are overridden.
137   The abstract methods can be called using any of the normal 'super' call
138   mechanisms.
139
140   Dynamically adding abstract methods to a class, or attempting to modify the
141   abstraction status of a method or class once it is created, are not
142   supported.  The :func:`abstractmethod` only affects subclasses derived using
143   regular inheritance; "virtual subclasses" registered with the ABC's
144   :meth:`register` method are not affected.
145
146   Usage::
147
148      class C:
149          __metaclass__ = ABCMeta
150          @abstractmethod
151          def my_abstract_method(self, ...):
152              ...
153
154   .. note::
155
156      Unlike Java abstract methods, these abstract
157      methods may have an implementation. This implementation can be
158      called via the :func:`super` mechanism from the class that
159      overrides it.  This could be useful as an end-point for a
160      super-call in a framework that uses cooperative
161      multiple-inheritance.
162
163
164.. function:: abstractproperty([fget[, fset[, fdel[, doc]]]])
165
166   A subclass of the built-in :func:`property`, indicating an abstract property.
167
168   Using this function requires that the class's metaclass is :class:`ABCMeta` or
169   is derived from it.
170   A class that has a metaclass derived from :class:`ABCMeta` cannot be
171   instantiated unless all of its abstract methods and properties are overridden.
172   The abstract properties can be called using any of the normal
173   'super' call mechanisms.
174
175   Usage::
176
177      class C:
178          __metaclass__ = ABCMeta
179          @abstractproperty
180          def my_abstract_property(self):
181              ...
182
183   This defines a read-only property; you can also define a read-write abstract
184   property using the 'long' form of property declaration::
185
186      class C:
187          __metaclass__ = ABCMeta
188          def getx(self): ...
189          def setx(self, value): ...
190          x = abstractproperty(getx, setx)
191
192
193.. rubric:: Footnotes
194
195.. [#] C++ programmers should note that Python's virtual base class
196   concept is not the same as C++'s.