FAQ: Hash Maps: Python - Defining the Setter

This community-built FAQ covers the “Defining the Setter” exercise from the lesson “Hash Maps: Python”.

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This exercise can be found in the following Codecademy content:

Computer Science

Complex Data Structures

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In order for my “assign” method to run properly, I have to to write “self.array” and “self.compressor”. Without any of those, I get an error.

But I don’t have to write “self.hash”. I can just write “hash” without the “self” and the code runs fine.

Why am I allowed to not use “self” in “hash”, while being forced to use “self” in the others?
I understand what “self” does, so I’d expect to have to use it in all three (array, compressor and hash). But for some reason I don’t.

(Also, in my “hash” function, the function name is in white, instead of blue. Not sure why either.)

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That’s the key!! hash() is a Python built-in function. In this Class, you are overriding the built-in function hash() with your own version. With self, you are calling the Class method; without self, you are calling the Python function
When you get to step 6, where you are actually running the functions, put in some print statements to see what the hash value is either way. You’ll see that, without self, the Class method hash() is not even called.



Turns out you are absolutely right!


Can someone explain in simple terms what encode() is doing?