Python Language Comparing Objects


In order to compare the equality of custom classes, you can override == and != by defining __eq__ and __ne__ methods. You can also override __lt__ (<), __le__ (<=), __gt__ (>), and __ge__ (>). Note that you only need to override two comparison methods, and Python can handle the rest (== is the same as not < and not >, etc.)

class Foo(object):
    def __init__(self, item):
        self.my_item = item
    def __eq__(self, other):
        return self.my_item == other.my_item
a = Foo(5)
b = Foo(5)
a == b     # True
a != b     # False
a is b     # False

Note that this simple comparison assumes that other (the object being compared to) is the same object type. Comparing to another type will throw an error:

class Bar(object):
    def __init__(self, item):
        self.other_item = item
    def __eq__(self, other):
        return self.other_item == other.other_item
    def __ne__(self, other):
        return self.other_item != other.other_item
c = Bar(5)
a == c    # throws AttributeError: 'Foo' object has no attribute 'other_item'

Checking isinstance() or similar will help prevent this (if desired).