What is the pythonic way to return value from an object, created by static method?


Say I have a class (object) that handles data used in the program.
With that, the data itself is created by a static method next to the class.
What is the pythonic way to pass that data further: should I do it through a dedicated function in my object or just call the static method?

Consider the following case:

File Foo.py:

class Foo:
    def __init__(self): pass
    def get_data(self):
        data = create_data(some_param)
        return data
    def print_data(self, data):
        # print data in some way
    def create_data(some_param)
        ... # create some data...
        return some_data

File main.py:

from Foo import Foo
def main():
    foo = Foo()
    data = foo.get_data()


from Foo import *
def main():
     data = Foo.create_data(some_param)


Asked By: the-friendly-dude



In general, it’s considered more Pythonic to use instance methods over static methods whenever possible, because they allow for more flexibility and better encapsulation of data. So, in your case, it would be more Pythonic to use the get_data() method to create and return the data instead of directly calling the static create_data() method.

This approach allows the Foo class to control how the data is created and processed, and provides a clear interface for other parts of the program to access the data. If you need to change how the data is created or processed, you can do so by modifying the get_data() method, rather than having to modify the code that calls the create_data() method directly.

Here’s an example of how you could modify your code to use an instance method to create and return the data:

class Foo:
    def __init__(self):
    def create_data(self, some_param):
        # create some data...
        data = ...
        return data
    def get_data(self, some_param):
        data = self.create_data(some_param)
        return data
    def print_data(self, data):
        # print data in some way
def main():
    foo = Foo()
    data = foo.get_data(some_param)

In this version of the code, create_data() is an instance method, and get_data() calls it to create and return the data. This approach provides better encapsulation of data and makes it easier to modify the data creation process in the future.

However, with the limited example you posted there is no clear reason for the Foo class to exist. It doesn’t have any instance attributes or methods, and its get_data() method is just a pass-through wrapper for the create_data() static method.

In cases where you only need to use a static method, it is not necessary to define a class to contain that method. Instead, you can simply import the module and call the method directly, like so:

from foo import create_data

data = create_data(some_param)

This is a more Pythonic approach that emphasizes simplicity and readability. However, there may be cases where defining a class with instance methods is necessary for organizing your code or for implementing certain design patterns.

Answered By: ThinkGeek
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