In this snippet we have a class hierarchy with a SimpleMessage at the top. The SimpleMessage class has a constructor that accepts a content string as well as two methods: GetMessage; and, PrintMessage. Down the hierarchy we have three subclasses: ExcitedMessage; QuizzicalMessage; and, ExcitedAndQuizzicalMessage. The only difference in the subclasses is that they override the SimpleMessage constructor to change the content string and append various exclamations. When we instantiate various message objects, using the same content string, and iterate over them, each has their own unique output.
There is general agreement that syntactic support is desirable to the current state of affairs. Guido mentioned syntactic support for decorators [2] in his DevDay keynote presentation at the 10th Python Conference [3], though he later said [5] it was only one of several extensions he proposed there "semi-jokingly". Michael Hudson raised the topic [4] on python-dev shortly after the conference, attributing the initial bracketed syntax to an earlier proposal on comp.lang.python by Gareth McCaughan [6].
Overall unfamiliarity with the concept. For people who have a passing acquaintance with algebra (or even basic arithmetic) or have used at least one other programming language, much of Python is intuitive. Very few people will have had any experience with the decorator concept before encountering it in Python. There's just no strong preexisting meme that captures the concept.
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