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Simple module for easily isolating temporary file I/O

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A simple module for easily isolating temporary file I/O to a directory. Ever developed a command-line tool which required a lot of file manipulation? Caching, perhaps? You don’t want to use the cwd and keeping all of your paths straight if you’re working outside of it can be a pain. This tool may be the pain-reliever you need!

A tale of sin and woe

Well, not really. I’ve just developed a bunch of tools that rely on various bits of temporary or isolated file I/O, and found myself implementing this pattern over and over again. Eventually, I got tired of doing it and decided to develop this handy module. Now I’m passing the savings on to you!


As far as I know, workdir is compatible with every version of Python from 2.6 through 3.5. It should also be compatible with all major platforms including Linux, OSX, and Windows. If not, let me know!


pip install workdir


Use it as a staging area for downloaded archives:

import workdir
import shutil
workdir.options.path = '~/.myfilecache'
with workdir.as_cwd():
    unpack_archive('somefile', 'somedir')
shutil.copy(workdir.path_to_file('somedir', 'unpackedfilefromarchive'),
            os.path.join('otherdir', 'unpackedfilefromarchive'))

Use it as a working directory in your git repo (added to .gitignore, of course):

import workdir
workdir.options.path = ''
with workdir.as_cwd():

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