Python is an object oriented programming language. Unlike procedure oriented programming, in which the main emphasis is on functions, object oriented programming stress on objects. Object is simply a collection of data (variables) and methods (functions) that act on those data.
Class is a blueprint for the object. We can think of class like a sketch (prototype) of a house. It contains all the details about the floors, doors, windows etc. Based on these descriptions we build the house. House is the object. As, many houses can be made from a description, we can create many objects from a class. An object is also called an instance of a class and the process of creating this object is called instantiation.Defining a Class in Python Like function definitions begin with the keyword def, in Python, we define a class using the keyword class. The first string is called docstring and has a brief description about the class. Although not mandatory, this is recommended. Here is a simple class definition.
A class creates a new local namespace where all its attributes are defines. Attributes may be data or functions. There are also special attributes in it that begins with double underscores (__). For example, __doc__ gives us the docstring of that class. As soon as we define a class, a new class object is created with the same name. This class object allows us to access the different attributes as well as to instantiate new objects of that class.
We saw that the class object could be used to access different attributes. It can also be used to create new object instances (instantiation) of that class. The procedure to create an object is similar to a function call.
You may have notices the self parameter in function definition inside the class. But we called the method simply as ob.func() without any arguments. It still worked. This is because, whenever an object calls its method, the object itself is pass as the first argument. So, ob.func() translates into MyClass.func(ob). In general, calling a method with a list of n arguments is equivalent to calling the corresponding function with an argument list that is created by inserting the method's object before the first argument. For these reasons, the first argument of the function in class must be the object itself. This is conventionally called self. It can be named otherwise but we highly recommend to follow the convention. Now you must be familiar with class object, instance object, function object, method object and their differences.
Constructors in PythonClass functions that begins with double underscore (__) are called special functions as they have special meaning. Of one particular interest is the __init__() function. This special function gets called whenever a new object of that class is instantiated. This type of function is also called constructors in Object Oriented Programming (OOP). We normally use it to initialize all the variables.