I have been a Python Scientific Programmer for a few years now, and I find myself coming to a sort specific problem as my programs get larger and larger. I am self taught so I have never had any formal training and spent any time really on ‘conventions’ of coding in Python “properly”.
Anyways, to the point, I find myself always creating a utils.py file that I store all my defined functions in that my programs use. I then find myself grouping these functions into their respective purposes. One way of I know of grouping things is of course using Classes, but I am unsure as to whether my strategy goes against what classes should actually be used for.
Say I have a bunch of functions that do roughly the same thing like this:
def add(a,b): return a + b def sub(a,b): return a -b def cap(string): return string.title() def lower(string): return string.lower()
Now obviously these 4 functions can be seen as doing two seperate purposes one is calculation and the other is formatting. This is what logic tells me to do, but I have to work around it since I don’t want to initialise a variable that corresponds to the class evertime.
class calc_funcs(object): def __init__(self): pass @staticmethod def add(a,b): return a + b @staticmethod def sub(a, b): return a - b class format_funcs(object): def __init__(self): pass @staticmethod def cap(string): return string.title() @staticmethod def lower(string): return string.lower()
This way I have now ‘grouped’ these methods together into a nice package that makes finding desired methods much faster based on their role in the program.
print calc_funcs.add(1,2) print format_funcs.lower("Hello Bob")
However that being said, I feel this is a very ‘unpython-y’ way to do things, and it just feels messy. Am I going about thinking this the right way or is there an alternate method?
I think doing so is perfectly pythonic. This is exactly the purpose of
For python conventions, see PEP 8.
I wouldn’t use a
class for this, I’d use a
module. A class consisting of only staticmethods strikes me as a code smell too. Here’s how to do it with modules: any time you stick code in a separate file and import it into another file, Python sticks that code in a module with the same name as the file. So in your case:
def add(a,b): return a+b def sub(a,b): return a-b
import mathutil def main(): c = mathutil.add(a,b)
Or, if you’re going to use mathutil in a lot of places and don’t want to type out (and read) the full module name each time, come up with a standard abbreviation and use that everywhere:
main.py, alternate version
import mathutil as mu def main(): c = mu.add(a,b)
Compared to your method you’ll have more files with fewer functions in each of them, but I think it’s easier to navigate your code that way.
By the way, there is a bit of a Python convention for naming files/modules: short names, all lower case, without underscores between words. It’s not what I started out doing, but I’ve moved over to doing it that way in my code and it’s made it easier to understand the structure of other people’s modules that I’ve used.
Another approach is to make a
util package and split up your functions into different modules within that package. The basics of packages: make a directory (whose name will be the package name) and put a special file in it, the
__init__.py file. This can contain code, but for the basic package organization, it can be an empty file.
my_package/ __init__.py module1.py/ modle2.py/ ... module3.py
So say you are in your working directory:
mkdir util touch util/__init__.py
Then inside your
util directory, make
def add(a,b): return a + b def sub(a,b): return a -b
def cap(string): return string.title() def lower(string): return string.lower()
And now, from your working directory, you can do things like the following:
>>> from util import calc_funcs >>> calc_funcs.add(1,3) 4 >>> from util.format_funcs import cap >>> cap("the quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog") 'The Quick Brown Fox Jumped Over The Lazy Dog'
Notice, though, if we restart the interpreter session:
>>> import util >>> util.format_funcs.cap("i should've been a book") Traceback (most recent call last): File "<stdin>", line 1, in <module> AttributeError: module 'util' has no attribute 'format_funcs'
This is what the
__init__.py is for!
__init__.py, add the following:
import util.calc_funcs, util.format_funcs
Now, restart the interpreter again:
>>> import util >>> util.calc_funcs.add('1','2') '12' >>> util.format_funcs.lower("I DON'T KNOW WHAT I'M YELLING ABOUT") "i don't know what i'm yelling about"
Yay! We have flexible control over our namespaces with easy importing! Basically, the
__init__.py plays an analogous role to the
__init__ method in a class definition.
In my opinion, this is a very nice way to do it. Thank you very much for this!
You don‘t need „def init(self):“ and „pass“ i guess.