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A python interface for accessing NetsBlox services

Project description


NetsBlox is a block-based programming environment which has a focus on distributed computing and internet connectivity. One of the core features of NetsBlox are remote procedure calls (RPCs), which connect to the NetsBlox server and provide access to online resources such as databases, GoogleMaps, online translation, wireless robotics, mobile phone sensors/control, and more.

PyBlox is an interface for accessing all NetsBlox services from within python. You can import this package in any python program that has internet access and begin calling RPCs and sending/receiving messages!

For more information about NetsBlox and the available services, see the official NetsBlox Documentation.

Example Usage

Here's a short example to see how you can access the MaunaLoaCO2Data service from python.

import netsblox
nb = netsblox.Client() # create a client to access NetsBlox

data = nb.mauna_loa_co2_data.get_co2_trend(2000, 2010)

Graphical Environment

PyBlox, while useful on its own for accessing NetsBlox services, has a side goal of helping transition students from block-based languages like NetsBlox and Snap! into textual languages like python. Because of this, PyBlox comes with a power graphical environment that supports most of the same features as NetsBlox/Snap!, as well as an IDE for creating python projects in a way that is still structured like a NetsBlox/Snap! project in both appearnance and concurrency model (closest approximation).

These features are only activated when explicitly called, leaving the default behavior as a normal python package for accessing NetsBlox services.

To launch the IDE, you can simply run PyBlox (netsblox) as a module:

python -m netsblox


PyBlox is available as a pip package called netsblox (keep in mind that PyBlox is a python3 package, so you may need to use pip3 if your pip still points to the python2 version).

pip install netsblox

If you run into installation issues with the nb2pb dependency, follow the instruction here. It is possible that there is not a wheel build for your platform and/or python version, which means that it must be compiled from source. This requires installing cargo, after which you can reattempt installing netsblox. If this solves your problem, feel free to submit an issue including your operating system and processor architecture.

The following additional setup is required, depending on your operating system.


No additional install dependencies


brew install python-tk


sudo apt install python3-pil python3-pil.imagetk
sudo apt install idle3

Structured Data

Due to the limited type primitives in Snap!, one NetsBlox typing convention is "structured data", which is really just a list of lists (pairs) denoting (unique string) keys and values. In the python interface, this is replaced by dict for both input and return value. The python interface will automatically convert input dict values into lists of lists, and convert lists of lists return values into dict (where appropriate). Note that this conversion is only performed by the static service wrappers like Client.chart.default_options(), and not for the dynamic invocation method:'Chart', 'defaultOptions').

Naming Conventions

The python names for services, functions, and input parameters are identical to those in the official NetsBlox documentation, except that they are converted into snake case to by more pythonic. Of course, any modern editor will have some form of intellisense built in, so in practice this is a non-issue.

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netsblox-0.5.17.tar.gz (1.6 MB view hashes)

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