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Is Python an Object Oriented Language?

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20th Sep, 2011
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Is Python an Object Oriented Language?

There’s always been a debate among programmers as to whether or not Python is an Object-oriented Programming language. Today, we seek to find a reasonable answer to put an end to this debate by understanding in depth why Python is object oriented language.

However, before we pass a final verdict on the kind of programming language that Python is, you must first understand what an OOP language is.

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What is object-oriented programming (OOP)?

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Object-oriented programming (OOP) refers to the programming language in which the coders/developers explicitly define the data types, data structures, and also the types of functions that can be applied to the data structures. Thus, the data structures become “objects” incorporating both data and functions. In the OOP language, programs are organized and constructed around objects and not around logic and functions. This is contrary to the historical programming approach that focuses on how the logic is written rather than defining the data within the logic.

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An object is a self-contained entity that comprises both data and the procedures required to manipulate the data. In simple words, it denotes a data field with unique attributes and behaviour. Thus, the OOP model operates by interacting and invoking the properties of the various objects among themselves. Learn more about python with our data science programs.

Here are the basic principles/features of object-oriented programming:
Class

A Class is a blueprint or outline of the object that defines the attributes and methods that hold the real functionality of the data. These attributes and methods are referred to as “members.” You can access the members according to the defined access modifiers while declaring the members.

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Inheritance

Inheritance refers to the relationships and subclasses between different objects that allow programmers to use and reuse a common logic, while simultaneously sustaining a unique hierarchy. In this process, the data is cleaned, transformed, and visualized by minimizing the redundancy of the code to allow for a more thorough and accurate data analysis.

Objects

Python is object oriented programming language where the object is connected to a state and activity. Any physical device, such as a keyboard, mouse, chair, etc., may be used. Arrays, floating-point, dictionaries, and numbers, are all examples of objects. Any individual string or number, more specifically, is an object. You may not even be aware of the fact that you have been utilising items.

Encapsulation

Encapsulation refers to the process of juxtaposing different elements to build a unique entity. In this process, the implementation and state of each object are privately retained inside a defined class, so that other objects cannot make changes to the class – they can only declare a list of public functions. Encapsulation or data hiding enhances code security and also prevents data corruption.

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Abstraction

Abstraction is defined as the process of hiding the implementation of the functionalities and expose only those interfaces or accessing methods required to trigger the methods of the implementation class. In other words, the objects only give away those functionalities that are relevant for the use of other objects.

Polymorphism

As the name suggests, polymorphism refers to the process in which objects can take on more than one form depending on the demand of the circumstances. It determines the usage or meaning necessary for each execution of that object, thereby eliminating the need for duplicating the code. The two methods of polymorphism are – method overloading and method overriding.

Now, that we’ve covered the basics of OOP, we can move on to the question –

Is Python Object Oriented?

Honestly, we cannot classify Python as strictly an object-oriented programming language. It is an intuitive, high-level, multi-paradigm programming language (supports multiple programming approaches) it that combines the features of both object-oriented programming and aspect-oriented programming. While it borrows heavily from the OOP language, it is also at the same time functional, procedural, imperative, and reflective. That’s because it is heavily influenced by a combination of many other programming languages including JavaScript, CoffeeScript, Ruby, Swift, Groovy, and Go.

Java, Objective C, C++, Ruby, Smalltalk, Visual Basic.NET, Simula, and JavaScript, are the few examples of OOP languages. And just like any other OOP language, Python too uses the fundamentals of OOP. For instance, in Python, Class means the same as it is for other OOP languages. Then, Python also retains the inheritance mechanism of OOP. To top that, Python can be integrated with other OOP languages like Java for developing applications in both languages that will incorporate the functionalities of both and you can call both the languages within each other to execute the application successfully.

However, Python isn’t an OOP language through-and-through since it does not allow strong encapsulation. This is because its creator Guido van Rossum aimed to keep things simple and that meant not hiding data in the strictest sense of the term. Instead of encapsulation, in Python, there’s a convention for data hiding wherein you can prefix the data members with two underscores. Apart from this, Python supports all the basic features of OOP language. This answers the question, is python object oriented?

So, there – mystery solved!

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Advantages of Object Oriented Programming

After we understand the facts to the question, is python object oriented, we must understand its advantages and why it should be used. Python is object oriented programming language, which works as a very fundamental part of the development of software, where OOP creates a class instead of just writing a program. This class contains data and its functions, all related to the customers. OOP comes with several advantages – 

  1. Re-using the code – It entails reusing certain facilities rather than continually developing them. Using a class is how this is accomplished. It can be used ‘n’ a number of times, depending on our needs. For example, in your coding, the car is your object. One of your colleagues requires a limousine car, while the other one needs a race car. While every person has a unique way of building their objects, this one is quite simple. The main object is ‘car’ while the requirements are just different types of cars. Using the inheritance technique in this example will make more sense. You can create one class, the car, and then create certain subclasses in which you can write different types of cars. What if you wish to alter every Car item, no matter what kind? This is the benefit of the OOP strategy. All car objects will automatically inherit any changes you make to your Car class.
  2. Maintenance of Code – Any programming language would benefit from this capability; it prevents users from redo work in various ways. Maintaining and updating the current codes by adding new modifications is always simple, time-saving, and a great benefit of OOP. 
  3. Productivity Increases – Less time consumption results in more work being completed, a better programmer being finished, more built-in functionality, and easier to understand, write, and maintain. A programmer using OOP may combine new software elements to create entirely new applications. It is made feasible by a number of libraries with a wealth of beneficial features.
  4. Unnecessary Data can be removed – This is a situation that develops when an identical piece of data is stored in two different places, such as two databases. One of the biggest benefits of OOP is the disposal of unnecessary data. Users can write common class definitions for comparable functions and inherit them if they require the same functionality in other classes.
  5. Security Maintenance – We retain security and provide required data for viewing by filtering out restricted data with the help of encrypting the data and abstraction mechanisms.
  6. Design Benefits – A consumer will gain design benefits from using OOPs in terms of designing and repairing things quickly and reducing risks. Here, object-oriented programming necessitates a lengthy and thorough design phase from the designers, which produces better designs with fewer faults. It is simpler to programmer all the non-one OOPs at a time when the programmer has reached certain crucial boundaries.
  7. Problem Solving Techniques – It is a good idea to break down a difficult issue into manageable pieces or individual components. OOP is an approach that excels at this behavior because it divides your software code into manageable pieces, one object at a time. The broken parts can be restored by future units that relate to an identical interface and provide details of the implementation, or they can be reused in approaches to various other issues.

These advantages must be enough to understand why Python is object oriented language.

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We hope this article helped you understand the fundamentals of OOP language and where Python really stands in this respect. Also, another thing that you hopefully learnt from this piece is that a programming language can be so much more than one ‘single’ definition!

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Profile

Mayank Sahu

Blog Author
Mayank Sahu is the Program Marketing Manager with upGrad for all emerging technology vertical. His past experience is in analytics industry extensively in healthcare Domain. Mayank has completed his Graduation from IIT Delhi.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1What is Python?

Python is a well-known general-purpose programming language with several uses in all domains. It has high information structures, dynamic typing, compile-time, and a variety of other features that make it ideal for complex program development as well as scripting or glue code that connects components. It can also make program execution to almost any operating system and run C or C++ software. Python is a global language that is used in a wide variety of applications due to its ubiquity and ability to run on almost any system architecture.

2Is Python a functional program?

In the world of computer programming, an object-oriented language builds object-based solutions, whereas a functional programming language constructs functional-based solutions. Python is an object-oriented programming language, but it also supports functional programming. It is, however, intended to prioritize object-based programming. It is not only not unique in its assistance for numerous paradigms, but it is also far from the most graceful language in this regard. This is what makes Python a preferable choice when it comes to choosing a foundation for data science or machine learning projects.

3Except for Python, what are some other programming languages?

Some other programming languages are Java which is a software platform that runs on billions of devices such as mobile phones, games, notebook computers, and so on. It even has rules and syntax that are based on the C and C++ programming languages. C is a general-purpose, high-level programming language that is ideal for creating versatile applications. It works on enterprise applications, games, graphics, and so on. C++ is another excellent object-oriented programming language that can be used to create operating systems, web browsers, games, and so on. It supports various programming styles such as procedural, object-oriented, functional, and so on. As a result, C++ is both powerful and efficient.