The decorator pattern is a design pattern that allows you to wrap an object such that it will appear to execute a given behavior in many different ways at different points in program execution. This is especially useful when you want an object to have different behaviors at but are unable to mutate the object. The decorator pattern is a useful way to implement dynamic behavior without needing an extended inheritance-based class hierarchy. To use the decorator pattern you need four elements: a component interface; a concrete component; a decorator abstraction; and, a concrete decorator. The interface sets the contract for both component and decorator behavior, the decorator abstraction contains a pointer to some concrete component, and the concrete decorators wrap a concrete component and override behavior if desired.
The decorator pattern, also known as the wrapper pattern, is when you wrap an object within another object, thus providing a means of enhancing or overriding certain behavior. The wrapper object will delegate any incoming method calls to the original object, unless it defines a new method to enhance or replace the original object’s behavior. By using the decorator pattern, you can dynamically create as many decorated objects as you want, each enhancing the behavior of the original object in a unique way — and all without mutating the original object. In this manner, you can effectively add, remove, or extend behaviors at runtime.
The discussion continued on and off on python-dev from February 2002 through July 2004. Hundreds and hundreds of posts were made, with people proposing many possible syntax variations. Guido took a list of proposals to EuroPython 2004 [7], where a discussion took place. Subsequent to this, he decided that we'd have the Java-style [10] @decorator syntax, and this appeared for the first time in 2.4a2. Barry Warsaw named this the 'pie-decorator' syntax, in honor of the Pie-thon Parrot shootout which occurred around the same time as the decorator syntax, and because the @ looks a little like a pie. Guido outlined his case [8] on Python-dev, including this piece [9] on some of the (many) rejected forms.
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This wrapper_repeat() function takes arbitrary arguments and returns the value of the decorated function, func(). This wrapper function also contains the loop that calls the decorated function num_times times. This is no different from the earlier wrapper functions you have seen, except that it is using the num_times parameter that must be supplied from the outside.
Some commonly used decorators that are even built-ins in Python are @classmethod, @staticmethod, and @property. The @classmethod and @staticmethod decorators are used to define methods inside a class namespace that are not connected to a particular instance of that class. The @property decorator is used to customize getters and setters for class attributes. Expand the box below for an example using these decorators.
After 2.4a2 was released, in response to community reaction, Guido stated that he'd re-examine a community proposal, if the community could come up with a community consensus, a decent proposal, and an implementation. After an amazing number of posts, collecting a vast number of alternatives in the Python wiki [18], a community consensus emerged (below). Guido subsequently rejected [22] this alternate form, but added:
There have been a number of objections raised to this location -- the primary one is that it's the first real Python case where a line of code has an effect on a following line. The syntax available in 2.4a3 requires one decorator per line (in a2, multiple decorators could be specified on the same line), and the final decision for 2.4 final stayed one decorator per line.
Now, assume one also desires the ability to add borders to windows. Again, the original Window class has no support. The ScrollingWindow subclass now poses a problem, because it has effectively created a new kind of window. If one wishes to add border support to many but not all windows, one must create subclasses WindowWithBorder and ScrollingWindowWithBorder etc. This problem gets worse with every new feature or window subtype to be added. For the decorator solution, we simply create a new BorderedWindowDecorator—at runtime, we can decorate existing windows with the ScrollingWindowDecorator or the BorderedWindowDecorator or both, as we see fit. Notice that if the functionality needs to be added to all Windows, you could modify the base class and that will do. On the other hand, sometimes (e.g., using external frameworks) it is not possible, legal, or convenient to modify the base class.

Two decorators (classmethod() and staticmethod()) have been available in Python since version 2.2. It's been assumed since approximately that time that some syntactic support for them would eventually be added to the language. Given this assumption, one might wonder why it's been so difficult to arrive at a consensus. Discussions have raged off-and-on at times in both comp.lang.python and the python-dev mailing list about how best to implement function decorators. There is no one clear reason why this should be so, but a few problems seem to be most divisive.
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This code works for our purposes but it’s not exactly dynamic. If we wanted our initial simpleMsg object to sometimes act excited and sometimes quizzical, we could only do so by instantiating entirely new objects from the relevant subclass. Moreover, the ExcitedAndQuizzicalMessage is really just a combination of ExcitedMessage and QuizzicalMessage and probably shouldn’t have its own class. To fix these problems, let’s now return to the decorator pattern and see how it might help us.
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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].
Hegel recognized the failure of attaining a universal concept of beauty and, in his aesthetic essay, wrote that painting is one of the three "romantic" arts, along with Poetry and Music, for its symbolic, highly intellectual purpose.[11][12] Painters who have written theoretical works on painting include Kandinsky and Paul Klee.[13][14] In his essay, Kandinsky maintains that painting has a spiritual value, and he attaches primary colors to essential feelings or concepts, something that Goethe and other writers had already tried to do.