Altered States: Python monkey-patching for Humans

Altered States is a way to simplify monkey patching and make it more accessible. It was written with test fixture setup in mind but can be used for anything that needs a reversible and temporary drastic state change (switching between authenticated users, I/O redirection, probably more).


There are two ways to manipulate your world.


For quick state changes, use the state() function by way of a context manager (with statement):

>>> from altered import state
>>> class Anon(object): pass
>>> o = Anon()
>>> = 'foo'
>>> with state(o, foo='bar'):
...     print(

or using the same function as a a decorator:

>>> from altered import state
>>> struct = {'a': 1}
>>> @state(struct, a=3)
... def fn():
...     return struct['a']
>>> fn()

This example also shows how state() can be applied to dict as well as objects.


(This feature is available from version `0.8.5`).

If you need the state to be in effect for a bit longer, use the two-step procedure by calling alter(). It returns another function that will perform the restoration at a later time:

>>> from altered import alter, E
>>> o = E(foo='foo')
>>> restore = alter(o, foo='bar')
>>> print(
>>> restore()
>>> print(

It also takes dict -like objects in the same way that state() does.