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Class Constructors

Class Constructors in Python

Object instantiation is a fundamental concept in object-oriented programming that refers to the process of creating new objects from a class. This process involves using constructors, which are special methods that define how new objects are initialized. This article describes how to instantiate an object in Python and provides examples of how to create and use these objects in your code.

Exploring Python's Class Constructors

A class constructor in Python is a special method that is executed when an object of a class is instantiated. It is used to initialize the attributes of the class. The constructor method in Python is called __init__() and it is defined within the class.

How to Instantiate a Python Class

Let's explore how to instantiate a class in Python. In order to accomplish this, we must perform class instantiation in Python by creating an instance of the class that invokes its constructor method. Here's an example of a simple class and how to instantiate an object of that class.

class Recipe:
    def __init__(self, name, ingredients): = name
        self.ingredients = ingredients

# Instantiate a Recipe object
my_recipe = Recipe("Spaghetti Bolognese", ["spaghetti", "tomato sauce", "ground beef"])

# Access the object's attributes
print("Recipe Name:",
print("Ingredients:", my_recipe.ingredients)

In the above example, the Recipe class has a constructor that sets the attributes name and ingredients for each new object that is instantiated. The my_recipe object is instantiated with the name "Spaghetti Bolognese" and a list of ingredients. The print statements will output Recipe Name: Spaghetti Bolognese and Ingredients: ['spaghetti', 'tomato sauce', 'ground beef'].

Inheritance and Constructors in Python

In Python, constructors play a crucial role in class inheritance, allowing child classes to inherit and extend attributes and behaviors from parent classes.

Constructor Inheritance Basics

Child classes inherit the constructor of their parent class, enabling them to reuse the initialization logic from the parent. For example:

class Vehicle:
    def __init__(self, make, model):
        self.make = make
        self.model = model

class Car(Vehicle):
    def __init__(self, make, model, year):
        super().__init__(make, model)
        self.year = year

In this example, the Car class inherits from Vehicle and extends its attributes.

Constructor Overriding

Child classes can also override the parent class's constructor to customize initialization:

class Bike(Vehicle):
    def __init__(self, make, model, wheel_count):
        super().__init__(make, model)
        self.wheel_count = wheel_count

Abstract Base Classes

Abstract base classes allow you to enforce initialization patterns across a class hierarchy. Please refer to the abstract classes page to read more.

Delving into Python's Process of Instantiating Objects

Instantiating an object, in Python, means creating an instance of a class. When you create an instance of a class, you instantiate the object. In Python, the process of instantiating objects involves creating and initializing objects.

To instantiate a Python class, you need to use the constructor method, which is the __init__() method. The constructor method initializes the attributes or properties of an object.

class Person:
    def __init__(self, name, age): = name
        self.age = age

person1 = Person("John", 25)

In this example, we defined a class called Person with two attributes, name and age. We instantiated an object person1 and passed two arguments to the constructor method. Finally, we printed the values of the name and age attributes.

class Employee:
    def __init__(self, firstname, lastname, salary):
        self.firstname = firstname
        self.lastname = lastname
        self.salary = salary

    def get_fullname(self):
        return self.firstname + " " + self.lastname

employee1 = Employee("Jane", "Doe", 50000)

In this example, we defined a class called Employee with three attributes, firstname, lastname and salary. We instantiated an object employee1 and passed three arguments to the constructor method. Finally, we printed the values of the firstname, get_fullname() and salary attributes.

In Python, instantiating objects is a powerful and flexible way to create objects with specific behaviors and attributes.

Initializing Objects Using the __init__() Method

The __init__() method is used in Python classes to initialize newly-created objects. It is automatically called when an object is created using the class constructor.

Here's an example of a class with an __init__() method:

class Person:
    def __init__(self, name, age): = name
        self.age = age

p1 = Person("Alice", 25)
print(  ### Output Alice

print(p1.age)  ### Output 25

In this example, the Person class has an init method that takes two arguments: name and age. When you create a new Person object, you pass in values for these arguments, and the __init__() method sets the corresponding instance variables.

You can also have optional or default arguments in the __init__() method:

class Rectangle:
    def __init__(self, width=0, height=0):
        self.width = width
        self.height = height

r1 = Rectangle()
print(r1.width)  ### Output 0

print(r1.height)  ### Output 0

r2 = Rectangle(10, 20)
print(r2.width)  ### Output 10

print(r2.height)  ### Output 20

In this example, the Rectangle class has an __init__() method that takes two optional arguments: width and height. If no arguments are provided, the default values of 0 are used.

Customizing Python's Object Initialization

In Python, the __init__() method is called when an object of a class is created. It is used to initialize the attributes of the object. However, sometimes we may need to customize object initialization by specifying our own parameters. This can be achieved using the following methods:

Creating Python Class without __init__()

One way to customize object initialization is to define a custom method that initializes the attributes. This method can take parameters which are used to set the values of the attributes. Here is an example:

class Car:
    def set_values(self, make, model, year):
        self.make = make
        self.model = model
        self.year = year

my_car = Car()
my_car.set_values('Toyota', 'Camry', 2022)
print(my_car.make)  # Output: Toyota

In this example, we defined a custom method set_values() to initialize the attributes make, model, and year. We then called this method on an object of the Car class to set the attribute values.

Creating Class with __init__()

Another way to customize object initialization is to use class-level attributes. These attributes can be set in the class definition and used to initialize the attributes of the object. Here is an example:

class Car:
    make = ''
    model = ''
    year = 0

    def __init__(self):
        self.make = Car.make
        self.model = Car.model
        self.year = Car.year

my_car = Car()
my_car.make = 'Toyota'
my_car.model = 'Camry'
my_car.year = 2022
print(my_car.make)  # Output: Toyota

In this example, we defined make, model, and year as class-level attributes and set their default values to an empty string and 0. We then used these attributes to initialize the object's attributes in the __init__() method. We can later modify the attribute values of the object as in the previous example.

Creating Python Class Object with Flexible Initializers

Object-oriented programming allows us to create objects with different properties. We can initialize an object with fixed properties or flexible properties by passing different arguments to the constructor. In Python, we can use the __init__() method to initialize an object with flexible properties.

class Rectangle:
    def __init__(self, width, height):
        self.width = width
        self.height = height

rect = Rectangle(5, 10)
print(rect.width)   # Output: 5
print(rect.height)  # Output: 10

In the above example, we initialized the Rectangle object with fixed properties width and height. The object returned by the constructor will always have the same properties.

class Circle:
    def __init__(self, radius, color='red', border=None):
        self.radius = radius
        self.color = color
        self.border = border

circle = Circle(5)
print(circle.radius)  # Output: 5
print(circle.color)   # Output: red
print(circle.border)  # Output: None

In the above example, we initialized the Circle object with flexible properties radius, color, and border. We passed only one argument radius to the constructor, but we also specified default values for color and border. This allows us to create a Circle object with only one argument, or three arguments, or any number of arguments in between.

Object Creation using the __new__() Method

The __new__() method is used in Python to create objects dynamically. It allows the developer to create a class object using the class name, and then you can add attribute after init of python class.

class Person:

dave = Person.__new__(Person) = "Dave"
dave.age = 25


In the above example, we create a class called Person and then use the .new() method to create an object called dave. We then add the attributes name and age to this object after initialization.

class Car:
    def __init__(self, model, make):
        self.model = model
        self.make = make

car = Car.__new__(Car)
car.__init__("Corvette", "Chevrolet")
car.color = "red"


In this example, we create a class called Car and define its attributes during initialization using __init__(). We then create an object called car using the __new__() method and initialize it with the model and make attributes. Finally, we add the attribute color to the car object after initialization.

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Python engineer, expert in third-party web services integration.
Updated: 03/28/2024 - 22:37
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