In this article we will learn about encapsulation in python.
Encapsulation work as a lock for our code.
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Just the way a lock prevents others from accessing your property, we can restrict other parts of the code from directly accessing sensitive data.
Consider the below code where the customer has a wallet_balance and there are methods that allow us to access and update that balance based on some logic.
class Customer: def __init__(self, cust_id, name, age, wallet_balance): self.cust_id = cust_id self.name = name self.age = age self.wallet_balance = wallet_balance def update_balance(self,amount): if amount < 1000 and amount > 0: self.wallet_balance += amount def show_balance(self): print("The balance is ",self.wallet_balance) c1=Customer(100, "Gopal", 24, 1000) c1.update_balance(500) c1.show_balance()
But with the way currently, it is coded, the data can be accidentally changed by directly assigning an incorrect value to it.
Adding a double underscore makes the attribute a private attribute. Private attributes are those which are accessible only inside the class.
This method of restricting access to our data is called encapsulation (Encapsulation in Python).
How does Encapsulation works?
When we put a double underscore in front of the attribute name, python will internally change its name to _Classname__attribute
This is why we get an error when we try to access a private attribute.
Observe this code and execute in Eclipse IDE.
class Customer: def __init__(self, cust_id, name, age, wallet_balance): self.cust_id = cust_id self.name = name self.age = age self.__wallet_balance = wallet_balance def update_balance(self,amount): if amount < 1000 and amount > 0: self.__wallet_balance += amount def show_balance(self): print("The balance is ",self.__wallet_balance) c1=Customer(100, "Gopal", 24, 1000) print(c1.__wallet_balance)
We can access private variable using the modified name as _Classname__attribute
So, if private variable can be accessed outside the class and can be modified, then what is the advantage of making it private?
Thus in python encapsulation is more like a caution sign than a lock. A caution sign is there so that you don’t accidentally break a rule.
But if you still want to break it you can, with consequence.
Getter and Setter in python
To have an error-free way of accessing and updating private variables, we create specific methods for this.
Those methods which are meant to set a value to a private variable are called setter methods and methods meant to access private variable values are called getter methods.
The below code is an example of getter and setter methods:
class Customer: def __init__(self, id, name, age, wallet_balance): self.id = id self.name = name self.age = age self.__wallet_balance = wallet_balance def set_wallet_balance(self, amount): if amount < 1000 and amount> 0: self.__wallet_balance = amount def get_wallet_balance(self): return self.__wallet_balance c1=Customer(100, "Gopal", 24, 1000) c1.set_wallet_balance(120) print(c1.get_wallet_balance())
Example on python encapsulation
End of encapsulation in python article;
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