Python interface for HFST
Package hfst contains python bindings for HFST (Helsinki Finite-State Technology) C++ library. HFST toolkit is intended for processing natural language morphologies. The toolkit is demonstrated by wide-coverage implementations of a number of languages of varying morphological complexity.
For Windows and Mac OS X, we offer binary wheels on PyPI. Wheels are available for python versions 2.7, 3.4, 3.5 and 3.6. The wheels for Windows are 32-bit; they also require a 32-bit python to work correctly. Wheels for Mac are compiled as universal binaries that work both on 32- and 64-bit environments. OS X must be 10.6 or higher.
For Linux, we offer only the source code on PyPI. It is also possible to install hfst using Debian binary packages. This is the recommended way if the environment supports Debian. Compiling hfst from source requires a C++ compiler (tested with gcc 5.4.0), readline and getline libraries for C++ compiler and setuptools package for python (tested with version 28.8.0). Swig is no longer needed as pre-generated files are included in source distribution.
Installation via PyPI
We recommend using pip tool for installation for Windows and OS X. pip also works for Linux, but everything will be compiled from source. Before installation, see that dependencies given under heading ‘Requirements’ are met.
For python version 3, the pip tool is usually named pip3, plain pip being used for python version 2. Basic installation is done with:
pip3 install [--upgrade] hfst
pip install [--upgrade] hfst
Starting from python 3.4.0 and 2.7.9, pip is included by default and can be called via python with option -m pip:
python3 -m pip install [--upgrade] hfst
python -m pip install [--upgrade] hfst
The commands above are run in a shell/terminal/command prompt, but they can also be run on python command line or via a graphical user interface (e.g. IDLE) with pip.main that takes arguments in a list:
The option --upgrade makes sure that the newest version of hfst will be installed replacing any earlier versions installed. The option --verbose will show what happens during the installation process. This can be useful when compiling from source.
Installation for Linux using Debian packages
Fetch newest Debian release (named python3-libhfst for python version 3 and python-libhfst for python version 2) from Apertium and install it with
dpkg --install python-libhfst_***.deb
When choosing the right package, the command lsb_release -a might be helpful. It will e.g. print something like
In the example case, the line Codename shows that the right package is of form *~xenial1_*.deb.
The command file /usr/bin/file is one way to check whether your system is 64-bit or 32-bit. It will print something like:
/usr/bin/file: ELF 64-bit LSB executable, x86-64, version 1 (SYSV), dynamically linked ...
In the case above, a package ending in amd64.deb is the right choice.
Compiling from scratch
See wiki-based package documentation on our Github pages. In python, you can also use dir and help commands, e.g.:
HFST is licensed under Gnu GPL version 3.0.
(In the commands below, python means either python or python3 depending of the version of python you are using; the same goes for pip meaning pip or pip3.)
Pip starts to compile from source although there is a wheel available:
Try upgrading pip with
pip install --upgrade pip
python -m pip install --upgrade pip.
Another reason for this can be that the source package on PyPI is newer (i.e. has a higher version number) than the corresponding wheel for the given environment. Report this via our issue tracker so a fresh wheel will be created.
Error message “command … failed with error code …”:
Try rerunning pip in verbose mode with
pip install --verbose [--upgrade] hfst
python -m pip install --verbose [--upgrade] hfst
to get more information.
Error message “error: could not delete … : permission denied”:
You do not have sufficient rights to install packages. On Mac and Linux, try installing as super user with
sudo pip install [--upgrade] hfst
sudo python -m pip install [--upgrade] hfst.
On Windows, reopen Command Prompt/Python command line/IDLE by right-clicking and choose “Run as administrator”, then run pip again.
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