The decorate() proposal was that no new syntax be implemented -- instead a magic function that used introspection to manipulate the following function. Both Jp Calderone and Philip Eby produced implementations of functions that did this. Guido was pretty firmly against this -- with no new syntax, the magicness of a function like this is extremely high:
You saw that, to define a decorator, you typically define a function returning a wrapper function. The wrapper function uses *args and **kwargs to pass on arguments to the decorated function. If you want your decorator to also take arguments, you need to nest the wrapper function inside another function. In this case, you usually end up with three return statements.
This decorator works by storing the time just before the function starts running (at the line marked # 1) and just after the function finishes (at # 2). The time the function takes is then the difference between the two (at # 3). We use the time.perf_counter() function, which does a good job of measuring time intervals. Here are some examples of timings:
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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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