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argparse wrapper to allow hierarchically nested class based parameters

Project description

Python argparse wrapper to allow hierarchically nested class based parameters suitable for automatic code analysis especially in Pycharm. It also provides a unified parameter specification protocol that can be used to provide parameter values through both text files and command line.

Please refer to the included parameter skeleton of a large multi object tracking project for which the functionality included in this package was originally developed. It provides an excellent example of a highly modular project with deeply nested and shared modules.

For example, this is one of the deeper instances of module nesting in this example:

Params->Trainer->Target->Templates->Siamese->SiamFC->DesignParams

Parameter for this configuration can be provided as:

trainer.target.templates.siamese.siamfc.design.exemplar_sz=150

Specifying multiple parameters for a deeply nested module can quickly become cumbersome especially from command line. The package thus provides a way to group parameters from the same module using the @ identifier. An example is provided in example/cfg/params.cfg. Note that the indentation used in this file is only for ease of human parsing and is not needed as this system of grouping also works from command line. Example commands are in example/commands.md.

The @ identifier specifies a prefix pf to be added to all subsequent arguments so that arg_name is treated as pf.arg_name. Assuming pf = name1.name2, following flavors are supported:

@name: pf = name
@: pf = <empty>

@@name: pf = name1.name2.name

@@@name: pf = name1.name
@@@: pf = name1

Usage of the package is very simple and involves calling paramparse.process as demonstrated in example/main.py.

It also provides three converter functions fromParser, fromDict and fromFunction that can create a parameter class compatible with this package from existing parameters in argparse.ArgumentParser and dict formats or using a function's keyword arguments. The generated class code is either writen to a python source file whose name can be specified as the second argument (defaults to Params.py) or copied to clipboard if to_clipboard=1 is provided (requires pyperclip).

The process function does type inference from the default value of each param but also supports extracting the type from restructuredText/pycharm type docstring (as generated by the converter functions) if the default is None.

Note : paramparse uses the reserved parameter cfg to specify paths to text files containing parameter values. If an existing argparse or dict object to be converted into paramparse class already has a cfg field used for some other purpose, it will conflict with the parser so please rename this field before or after converting but before running paramparse.process.

Usage of converter functions is demonstrated in example/utils_demo.py

Run python3 main.py --h from the example folder to see the hierarchical help documentation generated by argparse.

Apart from the hierarchical nesting and parameter grouping, an important utility of paramparse is in the class based representation that allows automated code analysis, navigation and refactoring in IDEs like Pycharm that is not possible when using vanilla argparse.ArgumentParser or dict.

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