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multi-level unified configuration

Project description

multi-level unified configuration for python consumption

  • you have a (python) program that wants to read configuration from configuration files (I currently support JSON and YAML) and also from the command line [TODO: environment variables]

  • you want to be able to serialize and deserialize configuration

Basic Usage

The configuration.Configuration class is an abstract base class that extends optparse.OptionParser. The form of the configuration is dictated by setting the options attribute on your subclass. options is a dictionary of the form:

{'name': {<value>}}

name is the name of the configuration option, and value is a dict that gives the form of the option.

Configuration transforms these options into OptionParser options.

Options for value include:

  • help : what the option is about (translated to command line help)

  • default: default value for the option

  • required: if a true value, this option must be present in the configuration. If required is a string, it will be displayed if the option is not present. If the default is defined, you won’t need required as the default value will be used

  • type: type of the option. Used to control the parsing of the option

  • flags: a list that, if present, will be used for the command line flags. Othwise, the option name prepended by -- will be used. To disable as a command line option, use an empty list []

In addition, you may extend Configuration and have additional useful items in the value dict for options.

For an example, see

Configuration Files

Config files are useful for (IMHO) A. complicated setup; B. reproducibility; C. being able to share run time configurations. The latter is mostly useful if the configuration contains nothing machine-specific (e.g. the path to an executable might vary from machine to machine) or if the configuration is overridable from the command line.

configuration features the ability to serialize (dump) and deserialize (load) configuration from a pluggable set of formats. By default, --dump <filename> will dump the resultant configuration (that gathered from the command line options and loaded configuration files) to a file of format dictate by the file extension (Example: --dump mydumpfile.json will use JSON format). The flag for the option, e.g. --dump, may be set via the dump parameter to Configuration’s constructor.

Configuration instances can also deserialize data. The normal case of using configuration is when you want to be able to read from configuration files. By default, Configuration instances read positional arguments for configuration files to be loaded. If you specify a load argument to the Configuration constructor, this option will be used instead. Likewise, the file extension will be used to determine the format.

The configuration package requires json``(``simplejson on older python) and PyYAML so these serializers/deserializers are available if you install the package.

Extending Configuration

configuration is designed to be pluggable. While you get a useful set of behaviour out of the box, most of the handlers for configuration may be manipulated to do what you want to do.

Configuration’s constructor takes an argument, types, which is a dictionary of callables keyed on type that translate Configuration.options into optparse options. If one of Configuration.options type isn’t specified (or is None), then the default is used (configuration.base_cli unless you override this). If not passed, a Configuration instance uses configuration.types.

The callables in types should take the option name and value dictionary and should return the args and keyword args necessary to instantiate an optparse.Option.

Configuration’s constructor also accepts an option, configuration_providers, that is a list of serializers/deserializers to use. These should be objects with a list of extensions to use, a read(filename) method that will load configuration, and a write(config, filename) method to write it. read should return the read configuration. If write is not present the provider cannot serialize.


See Also

Jeff Hammel

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