In general, functions in Python may also have side effects rather than just turning an input into an output. The print() function is a basic example of this: it returns None while having the side effect of outputting something to the console. However, to understand decorators, it is enough to think about functions as something that turns given arguments into a value.
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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  in his DevDay keynote presentation at the 10th Python Conference , though he later said  it was only one of several extensions he proposed there "semi-jokingly". Michael Hudson raised the topic  on python-dev shortly after the conference, attributing the initial bracketed syntax to an earlier proposal on comp.lang.python by Gareth McCaughan .
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 , a community consensus emerged (below). Guido subsequently rejected  this alternate form, but added:
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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.
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Writing a class decorator is very similar to writing a function decorator. The only difference is that the decorator will receive a class and not a function as an argument. In fact, all the decorators you saw above will work as class decorators. When you are using them on a class instead of a function, their effect might not be what you want. In the following example, the @timer decorator is applied to a class:
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The primary objection to this form is that it requires "peeking inside" the method body to determine the decorators. In addition, even though the code is inside the method body, it is not executed when the method is run. Guido felt that docstrings were not a good counter-example, and that it was quite possible that a 'docstring' decorator could help move the docstring to outside the function body.
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