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Python Object-Oriented Python Inheritance Super-Duper!

Akshaan Mazumdar
Akshaan Mazumdar
3,127 Points

This Video is Confusing!!!!! Why are we using super if we are defining __init__ in the subclass as well?

Why is super required in this particular case? What does it actually simplify ?

3 Answers

even after going through this SuperDuper video several times and doing the project work, i never got the solid foundation on the "why" I would need the super(). If you are still as confused as i was try this video by Corey Schafer, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RSl87lqOXDE, that covers the same topic with a different set of examples that really helped. Seeing it a different way really helped solidify for me the function of super() and how it allows "inheritance" from parent class to child and yet allowing child to build more complexity as needed.

Corin Faife
Corin Faife
9,564 Points

thanks for sharing, you're right, the YouTube video is useful.

Dan Olson
Dan Olson
4,875 Points

Thanks for the link. I found that YouTube video incredibly helpful as well.

Dave StSomeWhere
Dave StSomeWhere
19,822 Points

I think of it as you are overriding the parent class __init__ in the subclass. Then that parent __init__ isn't executed. Since you don't want to recode stuff already in the parent __init__, you use super to get the parent stuff and your subclass specific stuff in your __init__ (so kinda sorta like doing an include).

Akshaan Mazumdar
Akshaan Mazumdar
3,127 Points

Thank You for Your Reply!

Hi Dave, so thats what Kenneth means when he says its good for overwriting stuff that was already assigned in the sub class? So its basically just allowing us to be more specific within our subclasses and not take everything as given from the superclass?

Dave StSomeWhere
Dave StSomeWhere
19,822 Points

Hi Tyler,

Yes, I believe the concept that he is attempting to get across is that the base class is very general and that you get more specific with sub classes.

Not sure what you mean by "not take everything as given from the superclass" - probably more just wording than anything else - but - I think the spirit is that for most of the time the base class is generic enough that everything there can be taken as given and you are only adding items and not really look to change/replace items. (if that makes any sense)... So, yes you can change the base class, but I would generally say that if it is needed then it is a design flaw and the base class wasn't generic enough - So, yes there are situations where changes to the base class are necessary and correct - but should be the exception and not the rule.

That's why I think he used characters as a teaching example.

The base class of character is very generic. Then, the Thief class extends (extend/enhance) character by adding the Sneaky attribute (which only makes sense for a Theif). He also mentioned a Warrior class where he adds a weapon property. In general, just getting more specific and extending the base class.

For a final paragraph in this ramble... Since we are adding properties to the subclass, we then want to update the constructor method (__init()__) to create these new properties at instantiation time. We also want to make sure we have the base class properties also properly instantiated (for the example it is just name - and any additional keyword arguments).

Thanks Dave!

Andrew Bickham
Andrew Bickham
1,461 Points

thank you from the future :) all these notes really helped