Skip to main content

`interface_meta` provides a convenient way to expose an extensible API with enforced method signatures and consistent documentation.

Project description


PyPI - Version PyPI - Python Version PyPI - Status build codecov Code Style

interface_meta provides a convenient way to expose an extensible API with enforced method signatures and consistent documentation.


This library has been extracted (with some modifications) from omniduct, a library also principally written by this author, where it was central to the extensible plugin architecture. It places an emphasis on the functionality required to create a well-documented extensible plugin system, whereby the act of subclassing is sufficient to register the plugin and ensure compliance to the parent API. As such, this library boasts the following features:

  • All subclasses of an interface must conform to the parent's API.
  • Hierarchical runtime property existence and method signature checking. Methods are permitted to add additional optional arguments, but otherwise must conform to the API of their parent class (which themselves may have extended the API of the interface).
  • Subclass definition time hooks (e.g. for registration of subclasses into a library of plugins, etc).
  • Optional requirement for methods in subclasses to explicity decorate methods with an override decorator when replacing methods on an interface, making it clearer as to when a class is introducing new methods versus replacing those that form the part of the interface API.
  • Generation of clear docstrings on implementations that stitches together the base interface documentation with any downstream extensions and quirks.
  • Support for extracting the quirks documentation for a method from other method docstrings, in the event that subclass implementations are done in an internal method.
  • Compatibility with ABCMeta from the standard library.

Example code

from abc import abstractmethod, abstractproperty
from interface_meta import InterfaceMeta, override, quirk_docs

class MyInterface(metaclass=InterfaceMeta):
    An example interface.

    INTERFACE_SKIPPED_NAMES = {'__init__'}

    def __init__(self):
        MyInterface constructor.

    def name(self):
        The name of this interface.

    def do_stuff(self, a, b, c=1):
        Do things with the parameters.
        return self._do_stuff(a, b, c)

    def _do_stuff(self, a, b, c):

class MyImplementation(MyInterface):
    This implementation of the example interface works nicely.

    @quirk_docs(method='_init', mro=False)
    def __init__(self, a):
        MyImplementation constructor.

    def _init(self, a):
        In this instance, we do nothing with a.

    def name(self):
        return "Peter"

    def _do_stuff(self, a, b, c):
        In this implementation, we sum the parameters.
        return a + b + c

Running help(MyImplementation) reveals how the documentation is generated:

class MyImplementation(MyInterface)
 |  This implementation of the example interface works nicely.
 |  Method resolution order:
 |      MyImplementation
 |      MyInterface
 |      builtins.object
 |  Methods defined here:
 |  __init__(self, a)
 |      MyImplementation constructor.
 |      In this instance, we do nothing with a.
 |  do_stuff(self, a, b, c=1)
 |      Do things with the parameters.
 |      MyImplementation Quirks:
 |          In this implementation, we sum the parameters.

Related projects and prior art

This library is released into an already crowded space, and the author would like to recognise some of the already wonderful work done by others. The primary difference between this and other libraries is typically these other libraries focus more on abstracting interface definitions and compliance, and less on the documentation and plugin registration work. While this work overlaps with these projects, its approach is sufficiently different (in the author's opinion) to warrant a separate library.

python-interface has an emphasis on ensuring that implementations of various interfaces strictly adhere to the methods and properties associated with the interface, and that helpful errors are raised when this is violated.

By comparison this library focusses on functional comformance to parent classes, whereby methods on subclasses are allowed to include additional parameters. It also focusses on ensuring that documentation for such quirks in method signatures are correctly composed into the final documentation rendered for that method.

Project details

Download files

Download the file for your platform. If you're not sure which to choose, learn more about installing packages.

Source Distribution

interface_meta-1.3.0.tar.gz (15.0 kB view hashes)

Uploaded Source

Built Distribution

interface_meta-1.3.0-py3-none-any.whl (14.9 kB view hashes)

Uploaded Python 3

Supported by

AWS AWS Cloud computing and Security Sponsor Datadog Datadog Monitoring Fastly Fastly CDN Google Google Download Analytics Microsoft Microsoft PSF Sponsor Pingdom Pingdom Monitoring Sentry Sentry Error logging StatusPage StatusPage Status page