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A Python library for interfacing with the Alveo/HCSvLab API

Project description

PyAlveo
=======

A Python library for interfacing with the Alveo (HCSVlab) API

Introduction
------------

PyAlveo comprises the ``pyalveo`` module and its dependencies, which
provides object-oriented access to the HCSVlab API, with the following
features:

- A Client class with full API coverage
- API-aware classes representing HCSvLab items, Item Lists, and
documents, with sensibly overloaded operators
- Seamless (but configurable) local caching of item metadata, document
content data and primary texts using SQLite3
- Comprehensive epydoc documentation

Documentation
-------------

This page provides an introduction to this module. Full
documentation can be found at :doc:`modules`.

To get started immediately, download your ``alveo.config`` file from the
Alveo web interface, place it in your home directory, then call
``pyalveo.Client()`` to obtain a Client instance configured with your
API key.

Classes
-------

Below are short summaries of each class included in the ``pyalveo``
module.

**Client**

Implements all HCSvLab API methods. ItemList, ItemGroup, Item and
Document objects all interact with the API using an instance of this
class.

.. code:: py

client = pyalveo.Client()
client = pyalveo.Client(api_key='MY_API_KEY', api_url='http://example.com',
use_cache=True, update_cache=True)

**ItemGroup**

Represents an ordered list of HCSvLab items. Essentially behaves like a
List of item URLs, but with additional functionality. Get an individual
item as an Item object with ``get_item()``. Supports addition (union),
subtraction (relative complement), and intersection, equality-checking,
iteration, length inspection, indexing, and membership checking:

.. code:: py

ig1 = client.search_metadata('componentName:digits AND prompt:nine')
ig2 = client.search_metadata('componentName:digits AND prompt:seven')

#these are all valid:
item = ig1.get_item(1)
union = ig1 + ig2
sub = ig1 - ig2
inter = ig1.intersection(ig2)
if ig1 == ig2: print('False')
item_url = ig1[1]
len(ig1)
if item in ig1: print('True')

#so you can do things like:
docs = [i.get_document() for i in (ig1 - ig2).get_all()]
client.download_items(ig1 + ig2, 'items.zip')

**ItemList**

Extends (inherits from) ItemGroup to represent an Item List appearing on
the HCSvLab server, with additional Item List-specifc metadata and
functionality. Primarily, the ``refresh()`` and ``append()`` methods:

.. code:: py

il = client.get_item_list_by_name('foobar')
il.append(ig2)
#il should now reflect the new items, both locally and on the server

#if we add items using another method, the list needs to be refreshed manuallly before it will be updated:
cl.add_to_item_list([ig1[200]], il)
il.refresh()

**Item**

Represents a single HCSvLab item. Essentially behaves like a String
containing the item's URL, but with additional functionality. Access the
item's metadata as a dictionary with ``metadata()``, and its documents
as Document objects with ``get_document()``.

.. code:: py

item = ig1.get_item(2)
if item == ig2.get_item(2):
print(item.metadata()['metadata']['austalk:prompt'])

if item in ig2: item.add_to_item_list(il)

#or, equivalently:
if item.url() in ig2: il.append(item)


**Document**

Represents a single HCSvLab document. Mostly you probably want to use
``get_content`` to get the content data, or ``download_content`` to
download it to a file.

.. code:: py

doc = item.get_document()
doc.download_content('/home/me/downloads') #uses original filename, or:
doc.download_content('/home/me/downloads', 'filename.wav')

#this produces the actual data
data = doc.get_content()

**Cache**

Implements caching of item metadata, document content data, and item
primary texts. Metadata and primary texts are stored in an SQLite3
database, and data files are stored in the filesystem (the database
keeps track of the paths, which are UUIDs, because the orginal filenames
are not guaranteed to be unique).

When you construct a Cache instance, you can specify a maximum age (in
seconds), and the ``has_`` methods will ignore files older than that, so
any Client using that Cache will not 'see' those older records, and will
instead download that information from the server if it is requested
(and update the cache's record at that point).

You can turn off reading from or writing to the cache entirely for a
given Client using the Client's ``use_cache`` and ``update_cache``
options. Furthermore, all methods of Client, ItemGroup, ItemList, Item,
and Document objects which would normally read data from the cache can
be forced to download the information from the server instead using the
``force_download`` option.

**APIError**

Exception thrown whenever an API access is unsuccessful.

Configuration
-------------

When any parameter is not specified when invoking the Client
constructor, the value of that parameter will be derived from the
users ~/alveo.config file if that file can be found and it has the
required value. Possible values for that file (with their defaults) are::


'apiKey': no default
'max_age': 0,
'use_cache': true,
'update_cache': true,
'cache_dir': '~/alveo_cache',

Metadata Search Query Syntax
----------------------------

The Client method ``search_metadata()`` takes a query string (based on
the Apache Solr query syntax) which is passed to the server. For more
information on the search query syntax, see ``/catalog/advanced_search``
on the Alveo web interface.

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