#development #pattern #python

Python decorators are a powerful way to modify or enhance the behavior of functions or methods. While decorators are typically implemented using functions, you can also create decorators using classes. In this article, we'll explore how to create decorators using classes and learn how to make these decorators accept arguments for added flexibility.

Understanding decorators

Before diving into class-based decorators, let's recap what decorators are in Python. Decorators are essentially functions that take another function as an argument and return a new function that usually extends or modifies the behavior of the original function. They are often used for tasks like logging, access control, and code profiling.

Here's a simple example of a decorator in Python:

 1def my_decorator(func):
 2    def wrapper():
 3        print("Something is happening before the function is called.")
 4        func()
 5        print("Something is happening after the function is called.")
 6    return wrapper
 9def say_hello():
10    print("Hello!")

In this example, my_decorator is a function-based decorator that adds behavior before and after the say_hello function is called.

Creating class-based decorators

To create a class-based decorator, we need to define a class that implements the __call__ method. This method will be executed when we use the class as a decorator for a function.

Here's a basic example of a class-based decorator:

 1class MyDecorator:
 2    def __init__(self, func):
 3        self.func = func
 5    def __call__(self, *args, **kwargs):
 6        print("Something is happening before the function is called.")
 7        self.func(*args, **kwargs)
 8        print("Something is happening after the function is called.")
11def say_hello():
12    print("Hello!")

In this example, MyDecorator is a class-based decorator. When say_hello is called, it gets wrapped by an instance of MyDecorator, and its __call__ method is executed before and after calling the original function.

Making class-based decorators accept arguments

One of the powerful features of decorators is the ability to pass arguments to them. You can also achieve this with class-based decorators by modifying the __init__ method of the decorator class to accept arguments.

Here's an example of a class-based decorator that accepts arguments:

 1class RepeatDecorator:
 2    def __init__(self, times=2):
 3        self.times = times
 5    def __call__(self, func):
 6        def wrapper(*args, **kwargs):
 7            for _ in range(self.times):
 8                func(*args, **kwargs)
 9        return wrapper
12def say_hello():
13    print("Hello!")

In this example, we've created a RepeatDecorator class-based decorator that accepts an argument times, specifying how many times the decorated function should be executed. When say_hello is called with @RepeatDecorator(times=3), it runs the say_hello function three times.


Class-based decorators provide an alternative way to create decorators in Python and offer more flexibility by allowing you to accept arguments in a more structured manner. Understanding how to create and use class-based decorators is a valuable skill that can help you write cleaner and more maintainable code while extending the functionality of your functions or methods.