CodeQL documentation

__slots__ in old-style class

ID: py/slots-in-old-style-class
Kind: problem
Security severity: 
Severity: error
Precision: very-high
   - portability
   - correctness
Query suites:
   - python-security-and-quality.qls

Click to see the query in the CodeQL repository

The ability to override the class dictionary using a __slots__ declaration is supported only by new-style classes. When you add a __slots__ declaration to an old-style class it just creates a class attribute called __slots__.


If you want to override the dictionary for a class, then ensure that the class is a new-style class. You can convert an old-style class to a new-style class by inheriting from object.


In the following Python 2 example the Point class is an old-style class (no inheritance). The __slots__ declaration in this class creates a class attribute called __slots__, the class dictionary is unaffected. The Point2 class is a new-style class so the __slots__ declaration causes special compact attributes to be created for each name in the slots list and saves space by not creating attribute dictionaries.

class Point:

    __slots__ = [ '_x', '_y' ] # Incorrect: 'Point' is an old-style class.
                               # No slots are created.
                               # Instances of Point have an attribute dictionary.

    def __init__(self, x, y):
        self._x = x
        self._y = y

class Point2(object):

    __slots__ = [ '_x', '_y' ] # Correct: 'Point2' is an new-style class
                               # Two slots '_x' and '_y' are created.
                               # Instances of Point2 have no attribute dictionary.

    def __init__(self, x, y):
        self._x = x
        self._y = y


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