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A bunch of useful containers and custom variables

Project description

PyCollections

PyCollections is a Python 3 library that implements some useful containers (tuples, dictionaries, lists)

Note

Version 0.2.1 contains a major fix with NamedTuple, that now allows to use Python standard collections--those are lists, dicts, sets and tuples--as named arguments.

Note 2

The Methods section of every container that is documented below, contains only methods that are not present in the respective parent class. For instance, the LockedList() Methods section does not contain append(self) because it's inherited and reimplemented from its parent class.

A bit of information

PyCollections implements some cool containers based on Python's builtins such as lists, tuples, dicts and sets.

These containers, or collections, behave slightly different from their parent class as explained below.

At the time of writing, PyCollections is in Development Status 3 (Alpha) and has reached version 0.2.0, that implements:

  • ConstantDict() -> A dictionary whose key-value couples cannot be overwritten nor deleted once set
  • NamedTuple() -> Behaves exactly like a tuple, but has named arguments and can be accessed with literal indexes like dicts
  • LockedList() -> A list that can be locked or unlocked, allowing or disallowing access to the list itself
  • RLockedList() -> Inspired by threading's RLock() class, this special list cannot be accessed by other threads once acquired (It needs to be released to access it)

ConstantDict() - Docs

Introduction

This class implements a 'constant' (or immutable) mapping, we'll face those apexes in a second.

ConstantDict inherits most of its functions from Python's built-in mapping objects: dicts. This mapping mostly behaves like an usual python dict, except for 4 things:

  • Once a key-value pair is inserted, it cannot be removed anymore
  • Existing key-value pairs cannot be overwritten
  • Attempting to access the __dict__ attribute will fail
  • Attempting to access dir(object) will fail

These characteristics have been specifically implemented to avoid item's accidental overwrite/deletion.

Let's face the apexes at the beginning: In pure Python, it's impossible to implement an immutable container as it is duck typed: tuples and frozen sets, for example, are implemented in C AND Python, this allowing them to be truly immutable.

You might be wondering, "Soo, how does this class even exists? Didn't you just say it's impossible?!"

Yeah, it is, and actually this mapping is not truly immutable: it just overwrites any known standard method to access mappings values and edit them, but it is still possible to edit those values by accessing the class attribute {object}_ConstantDict__container.

This mapping is indeed intended to reduce the probability of ACCIDENTALLY overwriting those values, if you are looking for immutable objects natively, just switch to Java :)

Methods

  • act_as_dict(self) -> Bound method to activate/deactivate Python dict emulation. Returns the value of the act_as_dict instance attribute as a boolean value once called

  • typeof(self) -> The ConstantDict class is built so that it can emulate Python dicts. To pass isinstance() check, use ConstantDict.typeof() as first argument, after having called act_as_dict() on the container

NamedTuple() - Docs

This class implement a named tuple, that is, a container that behaves like a common tuple, but has named arguments.

The tuple works as described below:

  • Create tuple :

    >>> test = NamedTuple(key1='var1', key2='var2', ...)

  • Find element in tuple :

    >>> test.find(key1)

    'var1'
    
  • Get tuple keys :

    >>> test.keys()

    ['key1', 'key2', ...]
    
  • Get tuple elements :

    >>> test.items()

    ['var1', 'var2', ...]
    
  • Get a single element :

    >>> test[0]

    >>> test["key1"]

    'var1'
    

Methods

  • create_tuple(self) -> This method, meant for internal use, is called after __init__ and has the job of initializizing the NamedTuple arguments and to set the needed parameters for the container to work properly

  • isfloat(value) -> This method, meant for internal use, is called by the NamedTuple class to determine wheter a given value is a float or not

  • find(self, item) -> Finds an element in tuple with the given key

  • items(self) -> Returns all the values inside the tuple as a list object

  • keys(self) -> Returns all the keys inside the tuple as a list object

  • typeof(self) -> Returns the type of the tuple depending on the _act_as_tuple object attribute

  • act_as_tuple(self) -> Bound method to activate/deactivate Python tuple emulation. Returns the value of the _act_as_tuple instance attribute as a boolean value once called

LockedList() - Docs

The LockedList() container behaves mostly like a common Python list object, except for the fact that it has a special attribute --namely, _status-- that can assume a boolean value, that is either True or False. When _status is set to False, the container's behaviour is the same as Python lists, but when its value equals True, every attempt to read/write the list will raise an exception and leave the container unmodified. This can be useful for situations where very important variables need to be preserved from being accidentally modified.

NOTE: The concept explained for the ConstantDict()'s "fake" immutability is valid also for LockedList(), the below RLockedList() and in general for every container in this library whose behaviour prevents data modification. This means that the "you can't touch this!" rule isn't valid like, e.g., for Java where the private or public reserved keywords do prevent/allow variable modification. If you need a truly immutable container, use the collections module, that is implemented in C, a language that supports this kind of variable behaviour. In substance, there are no immutable containers in pure Python and this is not a flaw, just an implementation choice (like the GIL or the absence of constants, but you can argue about that with Guido van Rossum).

Methods

  • lock(self) -> Sets the _status parameter to True, disallowing access to the list's items

  • unlock(self) -> Sets the _status parameter to False, allowing access to the list's items

  • status(self) -> Returns the value of the _status parameter

  • act_as_list(self) -> Bound method to activate/deactivate Python list emulation. Returns the value of the _act_as_list instance attribute as a boolean value once called

  • typeof(self) -> Returns the type of the tuple depending on the _act_as_list object attribute

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