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.
... the keyword starting the line that heads a block draws a lot of attention to it. This is true for "if", "while", "for", "try", "def" and "class". But the "using" keyword (or any other keyword in its place) doesn't deserve that attention; the emphasis should be on the decorator or decorators inside the suite, since those are the important modifiers to the function definition that follows. ...
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.
This difference becomes most important when there are several independent ways of extending functionality. In some object-oriented programming languages, classes cannot be created at runtime, and it is typically not possible to predict, at design time, what combinations of extensions will be needed. This would mean that a new class would have to be made for every possible combination. By contrast, decorators are objects, created at runtime, and can be combined on a per-use basis. The I/O Streams implementations of both Java and the .NET Framework incorporate the decorator pattern.
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.
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