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Give users an easy way to define settings and personalize their use of your program.

Project description


Config files make it easy for users to use your program the way they want to. With loadconf you can easily give users that power.


The usual way:

pip install loadconf

Requires python3


I think this module is best explained through example, so here you go!

user = Config("my_program")

>>> from loadconf import Config
>>> user = Config("my_program")
>>> user._program
>>> user._platform
'linux' # or macos, or windows

To initialize the Config object you only need to give the name of your program, or whatever name you like. As you can see there are some reserved values after initialization.


>>> settings = { "fav_color": "Orange", "fav_int": 1, "fav_bool": True }
>>> user.define_settings(settings)
>>> user.settings["fav_color"]

Users may not provide all settings that are relevant to your program. If you want to set some defaults, this makes it easy.


>>> user_files = { "conf": "my_program.conf" }
>>> user.define_files(user_files)
>>> user.files["conf"]
'/home/user/.config/my_program/my_program.conf'     # on Linux
'/home/user/Library/Preferences/my_program.conf'    # on MacOS
'C:\\Users\\user\\AppData\\Local\\my_program.conf'  # on Windows
>>> user.files # on Linux
{'conf': '/home/user/.config/my_program/my_program.conf'}

Why you might use this:

  • Finds where config files should get installed by default
  • Gives a quick way to access a file by it's key
  • Allows for access via keys when calling other methods like:
    • create_files()
    • read_conf()
    • store_files()
    • associate_settings()
    • create_template()


# same settings dict used for user.define_settings()
>>> settings = { "fav_color": "Orange", "fav_int": 1, "fav_bool": True }
>>> user.associate_settings(list(setting.keys()), "conf")
>>> user.settings_files
# Formatted for legibility
    'conf': {
        'fav_bool': True,
        'fav_color': 'Orange',
        'fav_int': 1

This method is necessary if you plan on using the create_template() method. The purpose is to associate some settings with a particular file.


  • settings: List
  • file: Str

settings should be a list of keys set by define_settings(). file should a key for a file set by define_files().


>>> file_list = ["conf", "/path/to/file/to/create.txt"]
>>> user.create_files(file_list)

If you've run user.define_files then you can pass a key that is relevant to user.defined_files. That will create the file value of that key. If an item in the given list is not a key then it will get created if it is an absolute file path.


# same settings dict used for user.define_settings()
>>> settings = { "fav_color": "Orange", "fav_int": 1, "fav_bool": True }
>>> user.create_template(list(settings), "conf")

The above fill the the conf file like so:

fav_color = Orange
fav_int = 1
fav_bool = True

This method allows for an easy way to create a default user file with predefined settings. This method will only create templates for files created by create_files(). The create_files() method only creates files not found when running the program.


Let's assume the config file we are reading looks like this:

# my_program.conf
setting_name = setting value
fav_color = Blue
int_val = 10
bool_val = true
good_line = My value with escaped delimiter \= good time

To read the file we run this:

>>> settings = ["fav_color", "good_line", "int_val", "bool_val"]
>>> files = ["conf"]
>>> user.read_conf(settings, files)
>>> user.settings["fav_color"]
>>> user.settings["good_line"]
'My value with escaped delimiter = good time'
>>> user.settings["int_val"]
>>> user.settings["bool_val"]

Things to note:

  • read_conf() will make effort to determine int and bool values for settings instead of storing everything as a string.
  • If the user has a value that has an unescaped delimiter then csv.Error will get raised with a note about the line number that caused the error.
  • The default delimiter is the equal sign = but you can set something different
  • The default comment character is pound # but you can set it to something different
  • For users to escape the delimiter character they can use a backslash. That backslash will not get included in the stored value.


>>> user.store_files({"other": "/path/to/unknown_file.txt"})
>>> user.stored["other"]
['line1', 'line2 with some text', 'line3', 'etc.']
>>> user.store_files(["conf"])
>>> user.stored["conf"]
['conf_line1', 'conf_line2 with some text', 'conf_line3', 'etc.']

The purpose of this method is to allow you to store each line of a file in a list accessible through user.stored["key"]. Why might you want this? Instead of forcing a brittle syntax on the user you can give them an entire file to work with. If a variable is useful as a list then this gives users an easy way to define that list.

If you've run user.define_files() then you can give user.store_files() a list of keys that correspond to a defined file. If you haven't defined any files then you can give a dict of files to store and a key to store them under.

Storing json data can be nice too though:

>>> user.store_files({"json_file": "/path/to/data.json"}, json_file=True)
>>> user.stored["json_file"]
{'my_json_info': True}

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