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Classes Without Boilerplate

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attrs: Classes Without Boilerplate

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attrs is the Python package that will bring back the joy of writing classes by relieving you from the drudgery of implementing object protocols (aka dunder methods).

Its main goal is to help you to write concise and correct software without slowing down your code.

For that, it gives you a class decorator and a way to declaratively define the attributes on that class:

>>> import attr

>>> @attr.s
... class SomeClass(object):
...     a_number = attr.ib(default=42)
...     list_of_numbers = attr.ib(default=attr.Factory(list))
...     def hard_math(self, another_number):
...         return self.a_number + sum(self.list_of_numbers) * another_number

>>> sc = SomeClass(1, [1, 2, 3])
>>> sc
SomeClass(a_number=1, list_of_numbers=[1, 2, 3])

>>> sc.hard_math(3)
>>> sc == SomeClass(1, [1, 2, 3])
>>> sc != SomeClass(2, [3, 2, 1])

>>> attr.asdict(sc)
{'a_number': 1, 'list_of_numbers': [1, 2, 3]}

>>> SomeClass()
SomeClass(a_number=42, list_of_numbers=[])

>>> C = attr.make_class("C", ["a", "b"])
>>> C("foo", "bar")
C(a='foo', b='bar')

After declaring your attributes attrs gives you:

  • a concise and explicit overview of the class’s attributes,
  • a nice human-readable __repr__,
  • a complete set of comparison methods,
  • an initializer,
  • and much more,

without writing dull boilerplate code again and again and without runtime performance penalties.

This gives you the power to use actual classes with actual types in your code instead of confusing tuples or confusingly behaving namedtuples. Which in turn encourages you to write small classes that do one thing well. Never again violate the single responsibility principle just because implementing __init__ et al is a painful drag.


Amber Hawkie Brown, Twisted Release Manager and Computer Owl:

Writing a fully-functional class using attrs takes me less time than writing this testimonial.

Glyph Lefkowitz, creator of Twisted, Automat, and other open source software, in The One Python Library Everyone Needs:

I’m looking forward to is being able to program in Python-with-attrs everywhere. It exerts a subtle, but positive, design influence in all the codebases I’ve see it used in.

Kenneth Reitz, author of requests, Python Overlord at Heroku, on paper no less:

attrs—classes for humans. I like it.

Łukasz Langa, prolific CPython core developer and Production Engineer at Facebook:

I’m increasingly digging your attr.ocity. Good job!

Getting Help

Please use the python-attrs tag on StackOverflow to get help.

Answering questions of your fellow developers is also great way to help the project!

Project Information

attrs is released under the MIT license, its documentation lives at Read the Docs, the code on GitHub, and the latest release on PyPI. It’s rigorously tested on Python 2.7, 3.4+, and PyPy.

If you’d like to contribute you’re most welcome and we’ve written a little guide to get you started!

Release Information

17.4.0 (2017-12-30)

Backward-incompatible Changes

  • The traversal of MROs when using multiple inheritance was backward: If you defined a class C that subclasses A and B like C(A, B), attrs would have collected the attributes from B before those of A.

    This is now fixed and means that in classes that employ multiple inheritance, the output of __repr__ and the order of positional arguments in __init__ changes. Due to the nature of this bug, a proper deprecation cycle was unfortunately impossible.

    Generally speaking, it’s advisable to prefer kwargs-based initialization anyways – especially if you employ multiple inheritance and diamond-shaped hierarchies.

    #298, #299, #304

  • The __repr__ set by attrs no longer produces an AttributeError when the instance is missing some of the specified attributes (either through deleting or after using init=False on some attributes).

    This can break code that relied on repr(attr_cls_instance) raising AttributeError to check if any attr-specified members were unset.

    If you were using this, you can implement a custom method for checking this:

    def has_unset_members(self):
        for field in attr.fields(type(self)):
            except AttributeError:
                return True
        return False



  • The attr.ib(convert=callable) option is now deprecated in favor of attr.ib(converter=callable).

    This is done to achieve consistency with other noun-based arguments like validator.

    convert will keep working until at least January 2019 while raising a DeprecationWarning.



  • Generated __hash__ methods now hash the class type along with the attribute values. Until now the hashes of two classes with the same values were identical which was a bug.

    The generated method is also much faster now.

    #261, #295, #296

  • attr.ib’s metadata argument now defaults to a unique empty dict instance instead of sharing a common empty dict for all. The singleton empty dict is still enforced.


  • ctypes is optional now however if it’s missing, a bare super() will not work in slots classes. This should only happen in special environments like Google App Engine.

    #284, #286

  • The attribute redefinition feature introduced in 17.3.0 now takes into account if an attribute is redefined via multiple inheritance. In that case, the definition that is closer to the base of the class hierarchy wins.

    #285, #287

  • Subclasses of auto_attribs=True can be empty now.

    #291, #292

  • Equality tests are much faster now.


  • All generated methods now have correct __module__, __name__, and (on Python 3) __qualname__ attributes.


Full changelog.


attrs is written and maintained by Hynek Schlawack.

The development is kindly supported by Variomedia AG.

A full list of contributors can be found in GitHub’s overview.

It’s the spiritual successor of characteristic and aspires to fix some of it clunkiness and unfortunate decisions. Both were inspired by Twisted’s FancyEqMixin but both are implemented using class decorators because sub-classing is bad for you, m’kay?

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