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How can I separate functions of class into multiple files?

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Table of Contents

How can I separate functions of class into multiple files?

  1. How can I separate functions of class into multiple files?

    Tom Sawyer mentions PEP-8 recommends putting all imports at the top, so you may wish to put them before __init__, but I prefer it this way.

  2. separate functions of class into multiple files

    Tom Sawyer mentions PEP-8 recommends putting all imports at the top, so you may wish to put them before __init__, but I prefer it this way.

Method 1

I’m actually surprised this isn’t a duplicate. I saw some similar questions and I think there is nowhere a concise answer, so here is how I do it:

  1. Class (or group of) is actually a full module. You don’t have to do it this way, but if you’re splitting a class on multiple files I think this is ‘cleanest’ (opinion).
  2. The definition is in __init__.py, methods are split into files by a meaningful grouping.
  3. A method file is just a regular python file with functions, except you can’t forget ‘self’ as a first argument. You can have auxiliary methods here, both taking self and not.
  4. Methods are imported directly into the class definition.

Suppose my class is some fitting gui (this is actually what I did this for first time). So my file hierarchy may look something like

mymodule/
     __init__.py
     _plotstuff.py
     _fitstuff.py
     _datastuff.py

So plot stuff will have plotting methods, fit stuff contains fitting methods, and data stuff contains methods for loading and handling of data – you get the point. By convention I mark the files with a _ to indicate these really aren’t meant to be imported directly anywhere outside the module. So _plotsuff.py for example may look like:

def plot(self,x,y):
     #body
def clear(self):
     #body

etc. Now the important thing is __init__.py:

class Fitter(object):
     def __init__(self,whatever):
         self.field1 = 0
         self.field2 = whatever

     #Imported methods
     from ._plotstuff import plot, clear
     from ._fitstuff  import fit
     from ._datastuff import load
     from ._static_example import something

     #Some more small functions
     def printHi(self):
         print("Hello world")

     #static methods need to be set
     somthing = staticmethod(something)

Tom Sawyer mentions PEP-8 recommends putting all imports at the top, so you may wish to put them before __init__, but I prefer it this way. I have to say, my Flake8 checker does not complain, so likely this is PEP-8 compliant.

Note the from ... import ... is particularly useful to hide some ‘helper’ functions to your methods you don’t want accessible through objects of the class. I usually also place the custom exceptions for the class in the different files, but import them directly so they can be accessed as Fitter.myexception.

If this module is in your path then you can access your class with

from mymodule import Fitter
f = Fitter()
f.load('somefile') #Imported method
f.plot()           #Imported method

Not completely intuitive, but not to difficult either. The short version for your specific problem was your were close – just move the import into the class, and use

from separate import long_func_1

and don’t forget yourself!

Method 2

I use the approach I found here It shows many different approaches, but if you scroll down to the end it the preferred method is to basically go the opposite direction of @Martin Pieter’s suggestion which is have a base class that inherits other classes with your methods in those classes.

so folder structure something like:

_DataStore/
    __init__.py
    DataStore.py
    _DataStore.py

So your base class would be:

# DataStore.py

import _DataStore

class DataStore(_DataStore.Mixin): # Could inherit many more mixins

    def __init__(self):
        self._a = 1
        self._b = 2
        self._c = 3

    def small_method(self):
        return self._a

Then your Mixin class:

# _DataStore.py

class Mixin:

    def big_method(self):
        return self._b

    def huge_method(self):
        return self._c

Your separate methods would be located in other appropriately named files, in this example it is just _DataStore.

I am interested to hear what others think about this approach, I showed it to someone at work and they were scared by it, but it seemed to be a clean and easy way to separate a class into multiple files.

Summery

It’s all About this issue. Hope all Methods helped you a lot. Comment below Your thoughts and your queries. Also, Comment below which Method worked for you? Thank You.

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