No specific qualifications are required to work as a painter & decorator. However, in seeking employment, a certain amount of on-site experience is usually required. This could include experience in building or construction, which would provide a foundation of the skills required to do the job effectively. A complete beginner could use an apprenticeship as a way of getting initial experience in the field. To apply for an apprenticeship, applicants would usually need GCSEs in Maths, English and Technology as a basic entry point. The apprenticeships website is a good source of information. Specific courses also exist both to provide initial experience, and to accompany the learning experience of a trainee who is already working for a company. These include:
In Python 2.4a3 (to be released this Thursday), everything remains as currently in CVS. For 2.4b1, I will consider a change of @ to some other single character, even though I think that @ has the advantage of being the same character used by a similar feature in Java. It's been argued that it's not quite the same, since @ in Java is used for attributes that don't change semantics. But Python's dynamic nature makes that its syntactic elements never mean quite the same thing as similar constructs in other languages, and there is definitely significant overlap. Regarding the impact on 3rd party tools: IPython's author doesn't think there's going to be much impact; Leo's author has said that Leo will survive (although it will cause him and his users some transitional pain). I actually expect that picking a character that's already used elsewhere in Python's syntax might be harder for external tools to adapt to, since parsing will have to be more subtle in that case. But I'm frankly undecided, so there's some wiggle room here. I don't want to consider further syntactic alternatives at this point: the buck has to stop at some point, everyone has had their say, and the show must go on.

In a previous article, we discussed how to use the strategy pattern to dynamically change an object’s behavior at runtime. Classically, polymorphism in object-oriented design is static and achieved through inheritance; however, with the strategy pattern you can accomplish the same goal dynamically. Indeed, this is an excellent way to handle situations when you need an object to exhibit different behavior at different times. However, it’s worth noting that the strategy pattern requires mutation of the object you’re working with. By using the strategy pattern, you are necessarily changing the algorithm that an object uses for a given behavior. In some situations, it may be preferable not to mutate a given object. Or more likely, you won’t even have the option of mutating an object because it may come from a codebase over which you have no control (such as an external library). Such cases are relatively common; however, it’s still possible to enhance an immutable object’s behavior. One effective means to do so is with the decorator pattern.
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