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Kids file management library.

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This very small module is part of KIDS (Keep It Dead Simple), and proposes some python coding shortcuts on very common tasks. Original tasks I’ve shortcuted often requires to know 2 to 10 lines of python or special cases or different modules location.

It is, for now, a very humble package.


This code is in alpha stage. It wasn’t tested on Windows. API may change. This is more a draft for an ongoing reflection.


tmp, get_contents, put_contents

Let’s create a new temporary file containing the string ‘bonjour’:

>>> import kids.file as kf
>>> filepath = kf.mk_tmp_file(content='bonjour')

filepath holds the file path of the temporary file. Let’s check what is the file content with get_contents:

>>> kf.get_contents(filepath)

Let’s now put some new content in this file, thanks to put_contents:

>>> kf.put_contents(filepath, 'hello\nfriend')
>>> kf.get_contents(filepath)

This is it.

remove files

To remove files, you can use rm (or rm which is an alias).

This version works as python rm with some added usefull behaviors:

>>> kf.rm(filepath)

The file was removed. But notice if we try it again:

>>> kf.rm(filepath)  ## doctest: +ELLIPSIS
Traceback (most recent call last):
FileNotFoundError: [Errno 2] No such file or directory: '...'

To mimick the behavior of rm and the usage of its -f, you have also a force keyword argument, that will not cast an exception on non-existent file:

>>> kf.rm(filepath, force=True)

While it will continue to cast an exception whenever it is NOT a file not found error:

>>> kf.rm('/', force=True)
Traceback (most recent call last):
IsADirectoryError: [Errno 21] Is a directory: '/'

And of course, there’s a recursive argument which remove directories with all files and subdirectories (as would shell rm on a Unix like system shell):

>>> tmp_dirpath = kf.mk_tmp_dir()
>>> kf.rm(tmp_dirpath, recursive=True)
>>> kf.rm(tmp_dirpath, recursive=True)  ## doctest: +ELLIPSIS
Traceback (most recent call last):
FileNotFoundError: [Errno 2] No such file or directory: '...'
>>> kf.rm(tmp_dirpath, recursive=True, force=True)

It supports also multiple files:

>>> filepath1 = kf.mk_tmp_file()
>>> filepath2 = kf.mk_tmp_file()
>>> kf.rm([filepath1, filepath2])

And of course still catches bad usage, and tries to be clear about it:

>>> kf.rm(filepath1, foo=True)
Traceback (most recent call last):
TypeError: 'rm' got unexpecteds keywords argument foo

chown, mkdir, touch

A chown function is provided, with an optional recursive keyword argument.

Let’s now create a small tree directory (using mk_tmp_dir, mkdir, touch):

>>> from os.path import join

>>> tmp_dirpath = kf.mk_tmp_dir()
>>> base = join(tmp_dirpath, 'base')

>>> kf.mkdir(join(base, 'foo'), recursive=True)
>>> kf.mkdir([join(base, 'foo', 'bar1'),
...           join(base, 'foo', 'bar2')])
>>> kf.touch(join(base, 'plop'))
>>> kf.touch([join(base, 'foo', 'bar1', 'README'), ])

Notice that both mkdir and touch support multiple files at once.

We will mock the legacy os.chown to see what happens under the hood:

>>> import os
>>> import minimock
>>> m = minimock.mock('os.chown')

And call kids’s chown on user ‘root’:

>>> kf.chown(base, user='root', recursive=True)  ## doctest: +ELLIPSIS
Called os.chown('.../base/foo', 0, -1)
Called os.chown('.../base/foo/bar1', 0, -1)
Called os.chown('.../base/foo/bar1/README', 0, -1)
Called os.chown('.../base/foo/bar2', 0, -1)
Called os.chown('.../base/plop', 0, -1)

It support numerical ids if necessary:

>>> kf.chown(base, gid=0)  ## doctest: +ELLIPSIS
Called os.chown('.../base', -1, 0)

Is equivalent to:

>>> kf.chown(base, group='root')  ## doctest: +ELLIPSIS
Called os.chown('.../base', -1, 0)

You should of course avoid setting uid and user at the same time:

>>> kf.chown(base, uid=0, user='root')  ## doctest: +ELLIPSIS
Traceback (most recent call last):
SyntaxError: uid and user keyword arguments are exclusive.

Same for group and gid:

>>> kf.chown(base, group='root', gid=0)  ## doctest: +ELLIPSIS
Traceback (most recent call last):
SyntaxError: gid and group keyword arguments are exclusive.

And you must set at least a group or user (numerically or not):

>>> kf.chown(base)  ## doctest: +ELLIPSIS
Traceback (most recent call last):
SyntaxError: No user nor group provided.

Let’s clean up our mess:

>>> minimock.restore()

>>> kf.rm(tmp_dirpath, recursive=True)


There’s a full basename implementation:

>>> kf.basename("/path/", ".bar")
>>> kf.basename("/path/")

Note that you can provide multiple suffixes:

>>> kf.basename("/path/", (".foo", ".bar"))

Only the first matching the end will be removed.


Given a path, it’ll return the absolute path:

>>> kf.normpath('../tata' , cwd='/tmp/toto')

if you don’t give the cwd argument, it’ll default to current working directory.

is_empty, exists

Given a file path, it’ll return a boolean, and usage is quite straightforward:

>>> tmpdir = kf.mk_tmp_dir()

>>> foo = os.path.join(tmpdir, "foo")
>>> kf.chk.exists(foo)
>>> try:
...     kf.chk.is_empty(foo)
... except Exception as e:
...     print(str(e))
[Errno 2] No such file or directory: ''

>>> kf.touch(foo)
>>> kf.chk.exists(foo)
>>> kf.chk.is_empty(foo)

>>> kf.put_contents(foo, "hello")
>>> kf.chk.is_empty(foo)

>>> kf.rm(tmpdir, recursive=True)


File objects in python only offers to read line by line which are for some reason, delimited by \n (or equivalent). This is quite arbitrary, and so File is an adaptor on any file object to offer the ability to read based on any delimiter.

To show how it work we’ll use filify which takes a string and returns a file object containing the string. (Yes, this is StringIO, but with additional PY3 love):

>>> from kids.file import File, filify

To use File, you should use it as an adaptor, this means you give him a file object, and it’ll return his object that will make the bridge between his new API and the old API:

>>> f = File(filify("a-b-c-d"))

As read provides an iterator, here a convenient function to get the contents:

>>> def show(l):
...     print(", ".join(l))

So this is quite straightforward:

>>> show("-"))
a, b, c, d

This should work with very large file or records and is very handy for instance to parse file (like stdout) that use NUL separated fields.

Additional Shortcuts

I’m not sure to keep these shortcuts. I’ll see if these are really used often.

Compressed file

You should now read this easily:

>>> filepath = kf.mk_tmp_file(content="foo")

Let’s zip this file:

>>> zip_filepath =

This created a new file along the previvous file. Let’s check its contents:

>>> kf.get_contents(zip_filepath, uncompress="zlib")

And now, we can clean up our mess:

>>> kf.rm(filepath, zip_filepath)


Well, this package is really small, and you’ve just read the tests.

To execute them, install nosetest, and run:



Any suggestion or issue is welcome. Push request are very welcome, please check out the guidelines.

Push Request Guidelines

You can send any code. I’ll look at it and will integrate it myself in the code base and leave you as the author. This process can take time and it’ll take less time if you follow the following guidelines:

  • check your code with PEP8 or pylint. Try to stick to 80 columns wide.
  • separate your commits per smallest concern.
  • each commit should pass the tests (to allow easy bisect)
  • each functionality/bugfix commit should contain the code, tests, and doc.
  • prior minor commit with typographic or code cosmetic changes are very welcome. These should be tagged in their commit summary with !minor.
  • the commit message should follow gitchangelog rules (check the git log to get examples)
  • if the commit fixes an issue or finished the implementation of a feature, please mention it in the summary.

If you have some questions about guidelines which is not answered here, please check the current git log, you might find previous commit that would show you how to deal with your issue.


Copyright (c) 2019 Valentin Lab.

Licensed under the BSD License.


0.0.6 (2015-03-11)


  • Added is_empty() and exists() shortcuts. [Valentin Lab]

0.0.4 (2015-03-04)


  • Nearly all commands now support list of filenames. [Valentin Lab]

0.0.3 (2015-02-06)


  • Added File to read files by chunk delimited by any char. [Valentin Lab]

    Standard file object’s method .read() return line by line content, but there is no way to parse with having a delimiter other than \n or equivalent. This is what File does.

  • Added normpath that support a cwd argument. [Valentin Lab]

  • basename now supports multiple suffixes. [Valentin Lab]

  • [chk] added shortcut is_dir is_file exists. [Valentin Lab]

    These are only a way to gather them in chk and rename names to follow pep8 conventions.

0.0.2 (2015-01-20)


  • [basename] added a full basename support (with suffix removal). [Valentin Lab]
  • [chown] walk in alphabetical order and support setting only user or group, and support of numerical ids. [Valentin Lab]
  • Big changes to the API, rmtree now in rm, zip_file return filename. [Valentin Lab]

0.0.1 (2013-02-12)

  • First import. [Valentin Lab]

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