Python – How to avoid explicit ‘self’ in Python


I have been learning Python by following some pygame tutorials.

Therein I found extensive use of the keyword self, and coming from a primarily Java background, I find that I keep forgetting to type self. For example, instead of self.rect.centerx I would type rect.centerx, because, to me, rect is already a member variable of the class.

The Java parallel I can think of for this situation is having to prefix all references to member variables with this.

Am I stuck prefixing all member variables with self, or is there a way to declare them that would allow me to avoid having to do so?

Even if what I am suggesting isn't pythonic, I'd still like to know if it is possible.

I have taken a look at these related SO questions, but they don't quite answer what I am after:

Best Solution

Python requires specifying self. The result is there's never any confusion over what's a member and what's not, even without the full class definition visible. This leads to useful properties, such as: you can't add members which accidentally shadow non-members and thereby break code.

One extreme example: you can write a class without any knowledge of what base classes it might have, and always know whether you are accessing a member or not:

class A(some_function()):
  def f(self):
    self.member = 42

That's the complete code! (some_function returns the type used as a base.)

Another, where the methods of a class are dynamically composed:

class B(object):

print B()
# <__main__.B object at 0xb7e4082c>

def B_init(self):
  self.answer = 42
def B_str(self):
  return "<The answer is %s.>" % self.answer
# notice these functions require no knowledge of the actual class
# how hard are they to read and realize that "members" are used?

B.__init__ = B_init
B.__str__ = B_str

print B()
# <The answer is 42.>

Remember, both of these examples are extreme and you won't see them every day, nor am I suggesting you should often write code like this, but they do clearly show aspects of self being explicitly required.