Overloading in Python
Some say Python doesn’t allow overloading of methods or constructors. Well, they are right in some way! A coding example below,
def add(a,b): return a+b def add(a,b,c): return a+b+c print add(4,5)
If you try to run the above piece of code, you get an error stating, “TypeError: add() takes exactly 3 arguments (2 given)”. This is because, Python understands the latest definition of method add() which takes only two arguments. Even though a method add() that takes care of three arguments exists, it didn’t get called. Hence you would be safe to say, overloading methods in Python is not supported.
But, then there are folks who are more than willing to say, ‘Oh! Python supports all!’ Yes, Python supports overloading but in a Pythonic way. Here’s an example,
def add(instanceOf, *args): if instanceOf == 'int': result = 0 if instanceOf == 'str': result = '' for i in args: result = result + i return result print add('int', 3,4,5) print add('str', 'I',' am',' in', ' Python') Output: 12 I am in Python
In the above code snippet, two things are achieved:
- Irrespective of the different number of arguments, method add() works well
- Also, based on the data type of input, data type of output is changed
So, overloading IS there in Python!! :)
Posted on April 10, 2012, in Python and tagged Articles and Reviews, c print, Development Tools, enterprise-it, example sourcecode, language python, overloading, Programming, python method oevrloading, Source code. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.