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Factories and Functions for Fiddling with Units

Project description


F3U1 - Factories and Functions for Fiddling with Units.


Once upon a time, the quest for a method to format seconds into a human readable string was given to a hero. Braving through the nets of Inter, our hero stumbled upon place after places, such as State of Active, the Exchange of Stacks, and even some other Hubs of Gits. Some giants were found, like Tens of Tens Lines Long of Repetition, others were touching strange, unrelated things and looking complicated. Those that spoke in other unworldly incantations were of no use. In the end, our hero gave up, and constructed this monstrosity from the corpses of fairies:

def format_timedelta(delta_t):
    hours = delta_t.seconds / 3600
    days = delta_t.days
    seconds = delta_t.seconds

    # Don't ask.  Read the test; be happy you don't have to write this.
    # (WTB something simple like str(delta_t) with more control.)
    # (Maybe I should just do this in javascript?)
    return '%(day)s%(hour)s' % {
        'day': days and '%(days)d day%(dayp)s%(comma)s' % {
                'days': days,
                'dayp': days != 1 and 's' or '',
                'comma': seconds > 3599 and ', ' or '',
            } or '',
        'hour': (hours > 0 or days == 0 and hours == 0)
            and '%(hours)d hour%(hourp)s' % {
                'hours': hours,
                'hourp': hours != 1 and 's' or '',
            } or '',

(OOC: It was actually tested; see earliest commits).

Then the realization hit our hero: sometimes a dworf want to micromanage the resolution in minutes, and then the middle management dino will come back and stamp on all the things and make the resolution to be no lesser than a weeks in the name of opsec. These arbitrary changes to this tiny simple thing resulted in many gnashing of teeth and also many nightmares that never seem to end. Many cries of F7U12 was thrown about.

After countless nanoseconds of meditation, our hero destroyed 4 of those F’s and 11 of those U’s towards the direction of the unseen horizon, the solution was discovered, and it is one that transcends beyond time.


This resulted in the creation of original F3U1 - Factory For Formatting Units. Other descriptions used to fit, including Factory of Functions for Formatting Units or Formatting Functions from Functions for Units. However, over time as this module matured, it really became Factories and Functions for Fiddling with Units.

While this started as a module for formatting time into a human friendly string, this got generalized to be able to format arbitrary units, such as non-metric measurements units, into a human readable string. Then this got further generalized into being callable objects that can be used to construct an object representing some value and then be casted into the same human readable string.


Just install with pip in your virtualenv setup.

Alternatively you may clone this repository for running the tests, which will require some other dependencies which are specified inside the requirements.txt:

$ git clone git://
$ cd mtj.f3u1
$ pip install -r requirements.txt
$ python develop


Using a predefined unit:

>>> from mtj.f3u1.units import Time
>>> value = Time(second=90210)
>>> print value
1 day, 1 hour, 3 minutes, 30 seconds

Or create your own group of units:

>>> from mtj.f3u1.factory import UnitGroup
>>> Custom = UnitGroup(base_unit='one', ratios={
...     'thousand': 1000,
...     'hundred': 100,
...     'ten': 10,
... })
>>> custom = Custom(thousand=2, hundred=5, one=621)
>>> print custom
3 thousand, 1 hundred, 2 ten, 1 one

Resolution limitation can be done also:

>>> value = Time('hour', second=99999)
>>> print value
1 day, 3 hours

Construction of the value can use any key as part of the defined set of units:

>>> value = Time(hour=1, minute=99999)
>>> print value
69 days, 11 hours, 39 minutes

Any unit definitions can be respecified, along with their associated plural form:

>>> TimeWithWeek = Time.respecify({'week': 604800},
...     plurals={'week': 'weeks'})
>>> value = TimeWithWeek(hour=1, minute=99999)
>>> print value
9 weeks, 6 days, 11 hours, 39 minutes

Note: currently the values are all limited to positive integers. This may change to be more inclusive in the future. Maybe if I go insane I might add a full blown units conversion and mathematics into here.


0.2 - 2014-11-07

  • Python 3 compatibility.
  • Allow specification of the divider between elements.

0.1 - 2013-04-10

  • Core functionality of formatting time into a human readable string is provided.
  • Other units are also provided, and new units can be constructed from a definition of ratios.

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