Note: This module is available for backward
compatibility only. If you are writing code that does not need to work with versions of Python
earlier than Python 2.2, please consider subclassing directly from the built-in dict type.
This module defines a class that acts as a wrapper around dictionary objects. It is a
useful base class for your own dictionary-like classes, which can inherit from them and
override existing methods or add new ones. In this way one can add new behaviors to
The module also defines a mixin defining all dictionary methods for classes that already
have a minimum mapping interface. This greatly simplifies writing classes that need to be
substitutable for dictionaries (such as the shelve module).
The UserDict module defines the UserDict
class and DictMixin:
- Class that simulates a dictionary. The instance's contents are kept in a regular
dictionary, which is accessible via the data attribute of UserDict instances. If initialdata is provided, data is initialized with its contents; note that a reference to initialdata
will not be kept, allowing it be used for other purposes.
In addition to supporting the methods and operations of mappings (see section 2.3.7), UserDict instances
provide the following attribute:
- A real dictionary used to store the contents of the UserDict
- Mixin defining all dictionary methods for classes that already have a minimum dictionary
interface including __getitem__(), __setitem__(),
__delitem__(), and keys().
This mixin should be used as a superclass. Adding each of the above methods adds
progressively more functionality. For instance, defining all but __delitem__
will preclude only pop and popitem from
the full interface.
In addition to the four base methods, progessively more efficiency comes with defining __contains__(), __iter__(), and iteritems().
Since the mixin has no knowledge of the subclass constructor, it does not define __init__() or copy().