Python: Classes and Objects

Objects are an encapsulation of variables and functions into a single entity. Objects get their variables and functions from classes. Classes are essentially a template to create your objects.

 class MyClass:
      variable = "blah"

      def function(self):
           print "This is a message inside the class."

We’ll explain why you have to include that “self” as a parameter a little bit later. First, to assign the above class(template) to an object you would do the following:

 myobjectx = MyClass()

Now the variable “myobjectx” holds an object of the class “MyClass” that contains the variable and the function defined within the class called “MyClass”.

Accessing Object Variables

To access the variable inside of the newly created object “MyObject” you would do the following:

 myobjectx.variable

So for instance the below would output the string “blah”:

 print myobjectx.variable

You can create multiple different objects that are of the same class(have the same variables and functions defined). However, each object contains independent copies of the variables defined in the class. For instance, if we were to define another object with the “MyClass” class and then change the string in the variable above:

 myobjecty = MyClass()
 myobjecty.variable = "yackity"

Then print out both values:

 print myobjectx.variable   # This would print "blah".
 print myobjecty.variable   # This would print "yackity".

Accessing Object Functions

To access a function inside of an object you use notation similar to accessing a variable:

 myobjectx.function() 

The above would print out the message, “This is a message inside the class.”