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Abstract Base Class & @abstractmethod | Python Tutorials For Absolute Beginners In Hindi #68

Today we are going to learn the concept of abstract class and abstract method. Let us begin our tutorial with some definitions. First, we will define the abstract class:

“An abstract class is a class that holds an abstract method.”


“An abstract method is a method defined inside an abstract class.”

The definition may appear too simple, but the abstract method holds all the cards because it is necessary for all classes that are being derived by the abstract class to have the same method even though their functionality and code msy differ. However, the name of method should be the same as the abstract method. The abstract method inside the abstract class could even be empty because we can not implement it anywhere. It is just so that all the other classes define a method by the same name. 

It is important to remember that, we can not make an object for abstract class.

Following is the syntax for defining abstract method in abstract class in Python:

from abc import ABC, abstractmethod
Class MyClass(ABC):
      def mymethod(self):
            #empty body

For the implementation of an abstract class, we have to import the abc module by using an import statement. Along with it, we have to import the abstract method too. If we are using Python version older than 3.4, then we have to write:

from abc import ABCMeta, abstractmethod

Moreover, we have to pass ABCMeta into the class which we are defining as abstract.

Although if our version is newer, then we can import by the statement:

from abc import ABC, abstractmethod

And we have to pass ABC to the class we are defining as abstract.

To make a method specifically abstract in a class, we use the abstract method decorator denoted as @absttractmethod, which is defined in the abc module.

To understand the abstract class and method better, let us take an example. Suppose we have a few classes related to different items in a bookstore. Now our classes are books, stationery, and magazines. All these products are dealt with separately so all of these classes must have a method named sale, that could return the amount achieved by selling these items. So to ensure that each of these classes has a sale method, we will make an abstract class named bookstore with an abstract method Sale, and will derive all the other three classes from it. Until we have made a method Sale in each of the derived class, we would not be able to make its object, or the compiler will report an error.

Important points about abstract class in Python:

  1. Abstract methods are defined in the abstract class. Mostly they do not have the body, but it is possible to have abstract methods with implementation in the abstract class. Any subclass deriving from such abstract class still needs to provide an implementation for that abstract methods.
  2. An abstract class can have both abstract methods as well as concrete methods.
  3. The abstract class works as a template for other classes. 
  4. By using the abstract class, we can define a structure without providing a proper implementation of every method. 
  5. It is not possible to create objects of an abstract class because Abstract class cannot be instantiated.
  6. An error will occur if the abstract method has not been implemented in the derived class.


Code as described/written in the video

# from abc import ABCMeta, abstractmethod
from abc import ABC, abstractmethod

class Shape(ABC):
    def printarea(self):
        return 0

class Rectangle(Shape):
    type = "Rectangle"
    sides = 4
    def __init__(self):
        self.length = 6
        self.breadth = 7

    def printarea(self):
        return self.length * self.breadth

rect1 = Rectangle()

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