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Python: Master the Art of Design Patterns by Sakis Kasampalis, Chetan Giridhar, Dusty Phillips

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Extending built-ins

We discussed briefly in Chapter 3, When Objects Are Alike, how built-in data types can be extended using inheritance. Now, we'll go into more detail as to when we would want to do that.

When we have a built-in container object that we want to add functionality to, we have two options. We can either create a new object, which holds that container as an attribute (composition), or we can subclass the built-in object and add or adapt methods on it to do what we want (inheritance).

Composition is usually the best alternative if all we want to do is use the container to store some objects using that container's features. That way, it's easy to pass that data structure into other methods and they will know how to interact with it. ...

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