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name Punditsdkoslkdosdkoskdo

Python super class reflection

If I have Python code

class A():
class B():
class C(A, B):

and I have class C, is there a way to iterate through it's super classed (A and B)? Something like pseudocode:

>>> magicGetSuperClasses(C)
(<type 'A'>, <type 'B'>)

One solution seems to be inspect module and getclasstree function.

def magicGetSuperClasses(cls):
    return [o[0] for o in inspect.getclasstree([cls]) if type(o[0]) == type]

but is this a "Pythonian" way to achieve the goal?

C.__bases__ is an array of the super classes, so you could implement your hypothetical function like so:

def magicGetSuperClasses(cls):
  return cls.__bases__

But I imagine it would be easier to just reference cls.__bases__ directly in most cases.

  • 36
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@John: Your snippet doesn't work -- you are returning the class of the base classes (which are also known as metaclasses). You really just want cls.__bases__:

class A: pass
class B: pass
class C(A, B): pass

c = C() # Instance

assert C.__bases__ == (A, B) # Works
assert c.__class__.__bases__ == (A, B) # Works

def magicGetSuperClasses(clz):
  return tuple([base.__class__ for base in clz.__bases__])

assert magicGetSuperClasses(C) == (A, B) # Fails

Also, if you're using Python 2.4+ you can use generator expressions instead of creating a list (via []), then turning it into a tuple (via tuple). For example:

def get_base_metaclasses(cls):
    """Returns the metaclass of all the base classes of cls."""
    return tuple(base.__class__ for base in clz.__bases__)

That's a somewhat confusing example, but genexps are generally easy and cool. :)

  • 11
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The inspect module was a good start, use the getmro function:

Return a tuple of class cls’s base classes, including cls, in method resolution order. No class appears more than once in this tuple. ...

>>> class A: pass
>>> class B: pass
>>> class C(A, B): pass
>>> import inspect
>>> inspect.getmro(C)[1:]
(<class __main__.A at 0x8c59f2c>, <class __main__.B at 0x8c59f5c>)

The first element of the returned tuple is C, you can just disregard it.

  • 4
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if you need to know to order in which super() would call the classes you can use C.__mro__ and don't need inspect therefore.

  • 2
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      • 2
    • This didn't work for me. In my example, I got class C(B): pass, and C.__mro__ results in AttributeError: class C has no attribute '__mro__', whereas inspect.getmro(C) returns (__main__.C, __main__.B). I'm using Python 2.7.6.

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