Note that greet_bob(say_hello) refers to two functions, but in different ways: greet_bob() and say_hello. The say_hello function is named without parentheses. This means that only a reference to the function is passed. The function is not executed. The greet_bob() function, on the other hand, is written with parentheses, so it will be called as usual.
There is some history in Java using @ initially as a marker in Javadoc comments  and later in Java 1.5 for annotations , which are similar to Python decorators. The fact that @ was previously unused as a token in Python also means it's clear there is no possibility of such code being parsed by an earlier version of Python, leading to possibly subtle semantic bugs. It also means that ambiguity of what is a decorator and what isn't is removed. That said, @ is still a fairly arbitrary choice. Some have suggested using | instead.
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Gouache is a water-based paint consisting of pigment and other materials designed to be used in an opaque painting method. Gouache differs from watercolor in that the particles are larger, the ratio of pigment to water is much higher, and an additional, inert, white pigment such as chalk is also present. This makes gouache heavier and more opaque, with greater reflective qualities. Like all watermedia, it is diluted with water.
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:
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.
Concrete Decorator: Here we have two concrete decorators, ExcitedMessageDecorator and QuizzicalMessageDecorator, each of which descends from the abstract MessageDecorator class. However, these decorators do have special behavior in that they override the GetMessage and PrintMessage behaviors and enhance them by calling the base version from MessageDecorator (which in turn delegates to the relevant IMessage object) and then appending exclamations.
Now we have our logit decorator in production, but when some parts of our application are considered critical, failure might be something that needs more immediate attention. Let’s say sometimes you want to just log to a file. Other times you want an email sent, so the problem is brought to your attention, and still keep a log for your own records. This is a case for using inheritence, but so far we’ve only seen functions being used to build decorators.
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The .__init__() method must store a reference to the function and can do any other necessary initialization. The .__call__() method will be called instead of the decorated function. It does essentially the same thing as the wrapper() function in our earlier examples. Note that you need to use the functools.update_wrapper() function instead of @functools.wraps.
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.
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Historically, the painter was responsible for the mixing of the paint; keeping a ready supply of pigments, oils, thinners and driers. The painter would use his experience to determine a suitable mixture depending on the nature of the job. In modern times, the painter is primarily responsible for preparation of the surface to be painted, such as patching holes in drywall, using masking tape and other protection on surfaces not to be painted, applying the paint and then cleaning up.
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 , where a discussion took place. Subsequent to this, he decided that we'd have the Java-style  @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  on Python-dev, including this piece  on some of the (many) rejected forms.