Printing all instances of a class
With a class in Python, how do I define a function to print every single instance of the class in a format defined in the function?
I see two options in this case:
import gc for obj in gc.get_objects(): if isinstance(obj, some_class): dome_something(obj)
This has the disadvantage of being very slow when you have a lot of objects, but works with types over which you have no control.
Use a mixin and weakrefs
from collections import defaultdict import weakref class KeepRefs(object): __refs__ = defaultdict(list) def __init__(self): self.__refs__[self.__class__].append(weakref.ref(self)) @classmethod def get_instances(cls): for inst_ref in cls.__refs__[cls]: inst = inst_ref() if inst is not None: yield inst class X(KeepRefs): def __init__(self, name): super(X, self).__init__() self.name = name x = X("x") y = X("y") for r in X.get_instances(): print r.name del y for r in X.get_instances(): print r.name
In this case, all the references get stored as a weak reference in a list. If you create and delete a lot of instances frequently, you should clean up the list of weakrefs after iteration, otherwise there's going to be a lot of cruft.
Another problem in this case is that you have to make sure to call the base class constructor. You could also override __new__, but only the __new__ method of the first base class is used on instantiation. This also works only on types that are under your control.
Edit: The method for printing all instances according to a specific format is left as an exercise, but it's basically just a variation on the for-loops.