Understanding the use of decorators in Python
In Python, decorators are a type of design pattern that allows you to add new behavior to an existing object without modifying its structure. They are a very powerful tool that simplifies the code and makes it easier to read and maintain. At a high level, decorators are simply a way to wrap a function or method with another function to extend or change its behavior. They are represented with the '@' symbol. Here's a simple example: ```python def my_decorator(func): def wrapper(): print("Something is happening before the function is called.") func() print("Something is happening after the function is called.") return wrapper @my_decorator def say_hello(): print("Hello!") say_hello() ``` When you call say_hello(), it's not just the say_hello() function that gets called. Instead, it's the wrapper() function inside my_decorator() that gets called. It calls say_hello() as part of its execution, providing the extra behavior before and after the call. In this example, the @my_decorator line is just a convenient shorthand for the following: ```python say_hello = my_decorator(say_hello) ``` This is what's known as syntactic sugar in Python. It makes your code concise and easier to read. Remember that the purpose of using decorators is to extend the behavior of the decorated function without permanently modifying it. The decorator simply provides a way to wrap extra functionality around the function it decorates.