What is the correct syntax for a Python function/method argument when it has more than one possible type hints?


import os

def scan(path) -> os.DirEntry :
   return os.scandir(path)

What is the correct type hint for the path argument of this function?

According to documentation:

path may be a path-like object. If path is of type bytes (directly or
indirectly through the PathLike interface), the type of the name and
path attributes of each os.DirEntry will be bytes; in all other
circumstances, they will be of type str.

So, it can either be a str or bytes object representing a path, or an object implementing the os.PathLike protocol. How do I write these possibilities for the type hinting?

Asked By: Sun Bear



You could write these possibilities as:

typing.Union[str, bytes, os.PathLike]

This is mentioned in PEP 519.

… the union of all acceptable path-representing types … can be represented with typing.Union[str, bytes, os.PathLike] easily enough and the hope is users will slowly gravitate to path objects only

Answered By: wim

The union type can be denoted as str | bytes | os.PathLike.

Answered By: Manfred

In Python 3.12.x you could do this:

import os
from collections.abc import Iterable
from pathlib import Path

type PT = str | bytes | os.PathLike

def doScan(dirname: PT) -> Iterable[os.DirEntry]:
    return os.scandir(dirname)

Answered By: SIGHUP
Categories: questions Tags: ,
Answers are sorted by their score. The answer accepted by the question owner as the best is marked with
at the top-right corner.