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An integrated argument/configuration file parser that follows the syntax of argparser

Project description

This module adds a config file parsing capability to argparse.


Start by importing the module and initializing the parser:

import confargparse
parser = confargparse.ConfArgParser()

The usage is identical to the argparse module:

parser.add_argument("-n", type=int)
group = parser.add_argument_group("my group")

Now, to use a configuration file (or list of sequentially read configuration files), just add the –conf-file option.

python –conf-file conf.ini

It is easy to write out a configuration file by applying all the options you want, and then adding the –export-conf-file option.

python -n –export-conf-file > conf.ini

API Changes

All argparse code should be compatible by just drapping in the new object. This package adds a few important options to the API to figure out how to map namespace dests to configuration sections/names.

The key concepts to note:

  1. Parameters in configuration files map to specific section/name pairs.

  2. Configuration file sections and names ignore case.

Specifiying the Name

By default all configuration names are the lowercase dest from argparse. Care must be taken to make sure that there are no name clashes from dests with different capitalizations.

The default name can be changed by using the “name” keyword to add_argument:

parser.add_argument("-n", type=int, name="my_n")

This targets the argument to “my_n” instead of “n” in the configuration file.

Specifying the Section

By default, all configurations go to the [defaults] section. Argument groups and subparsers inherit from the parser that initialized them.

The add_argument_group, add_argument, add_subparsers, and ConfArgParser initialization all include the “section” optional keyword argument. Specifying this section sets the section in the configuration the option will be targeted to. If the value is None, the object will inherit up as expected:

parser = ConfArgParser(section = "main")
parser.add_argument("-n", type=int)
group = parser.add_argument_group("my group", section="group")
group.add_argument("-t", section="section2")

In this example, the first argument targets to “n” name in the [main] section. The second argument targets to the “g” name in the [group] section. The third argument targets to the “t” name in the [section2] section.

Excluding Arguments

Currently, positional arguments cannot be sent to the configuration file.

If you would like to exclude additional arguments, just use the exclude keyword argument to add_arguments:

parser.add_argument("-n", type=int, exclude=True)

Suggestions or BugFixes?

Feel free to contact me. I am findable online with a google search: S. Joshua Swamidass.

Please send bug fixes as pull requests to the bitbucket repository ( Please keep pull requests clean, so I can easily figure out if it should be merged into the main line.

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