Boost logo

Boost Users :

From: Steve Horne (steve_at_[hidden])
Date: 2003-09-14 09:41:04

I'm currently writing a set of container classes using Boost.Python to wrap
an existing C++ library. Progress has been very good - not even two days
and I've wrapped all the existing C++ methods (at least 100). But of course
a library designed for C++ is not a library designed for Python. Job 2 is
to make it more Pythonic.

The current problem is implementing slicing in the __getitem__, __setitem__
and __delitem__ methods. These are already working with single keys. To
handle slicing, I need to identify in the key object is a slice object.
This is the sticking point right now.

I can access the type of the object using p.attr ("__class__") - but how do
I get access to the slice type object from __builtins__ in order to compare?

I could probably use a workaround such as extracting and checking a string
representation from p.attr ("__class__").str (), but it seems to me that
the ability to import symbols from another module (whether __builtins__ or
some other Python or extension module).

This could reduce to the ability to convert a PyObject* to an object
instance - even more useful for using any C API functions that don't have a
Boost.Python wrapper - but there seems to be no obvious way to do this.

In addition, my containers are currently declared as follows...

   class_<classname, boost::noncopyable>("classname")

The boost::noncopyable is there because the containers don't have copy
constructors due to certain issues using the library in C++. Therefore, I'd
like to better understand the implications of this.

For instance, in Python the copy constructor is often used to make copy the
entire container (as opposed to just rebinding names). Presumably
Boost.Python supports this using the C++ classes copy constructor. This
raises the questions...

1. How can I create an object to return to Python, containing an instance
of the C++ container, without removing boost::noncopyable? (I need to do
this to implement slicing too)

This, I think, is roughly what is done in the Inheritance section of the
tutorial so I probably need something like the 'factory' function. So, to
reduce it to a simple copy-function example, the following should be about

Base* container::make_copy ()
   container *temp = new container ();
   temp->do_copy (*this);
   return temp;


   .def("make_copy", container::make_copy,

I think this should be right, but confidence is low.

2. How can I support the Python copy constructor without having a C++ copy

I'm using boost-1.30.2 with Python 2.2.3 and Visual Studio 7.

Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks.

Boost-users list run by williamkempf at, kalb at, bjorn.karlsson at, gregod at, wekempf at