Python Parse

P

parser — Access Python parse trees — Python 3.9.7 ...

parser — Access Python parse trees — Python 3.9.7 …

The parser module provides an interface to Python’s internal parser and
byte-code compiler. The primary purpose for this interface is to allow Python
code to edit the parse tree of a Python expression and create executable code
from this. This is better than trying to parse and modify an arbitrary Python
code fragment as a string because parsing is performed in a manner identical to
the code forming the application. It is also faster.
Warning
The parser module is deprecated and will be removed in future versions of
Python. For the majority of use cases you can leverage the Abstract Syntax
Tree (AST) generation and compilation stage, using the ast module.
There are a few things to note about this module which are important to making
use of the data structures created. This is not a tutorial on editing the parse
trees for Python code, but some examples of using the parser module are
presented.
Most importantly, a good understanding of the Python grammar processed by the
internal parser is required. For full information on the language syntax, refer
to The Python Language Reference. The parser
itself is created from a grammar specification defined in the file
Grammar/Grammar in the standard Python distribution. The parse trees
stored in the ST objects created by this module are the actual output from the
internal parser when created by the expr() or suite() functions,
described below. The ST objects created by sequence2st() faithfully
simulate those structures. Be aware that the values of the sequences which are
considered “correct” will vary from one version of Python to another as the
formal grammar for the language is revised. However, transporting code from one
Python version to another as source text will always allow correct parse trees
to be created in the target version, with the only restriction being that
migrating to an older version of the interpreter will not support more recent
language constructs. The parse trees are not typically compatible from one
version to another, though source code has usually been forward-compatible within
a major release series.
Each element of the sequences returned by st2list() or st2tuple()
has a simple form. Sequences representing non-terminal elements in the grammar
always have a length greater than one. The first element is an integer which
identifies a production in the grammar. These integers are given symbolic names
in the C header file Include/graminit. h and the Python module
symbol. Each additional element of the sequence represents a component
of the production as recognized in the input string: these are always sequences
which have the same form as the parent. An important aspect of this structure
which should be noted is that keywords used to identify the parent node type,
such as the keyword if in an if_stmt, are included in the
node tree without any special treatment. For example, the if keyword
is represented by the tuple (1, ‘if’), where 1 is the numeric value
associated with all NAME tokens, including variable and function names
defined by the user. In an alternate form returned when line number information
is requested, the same token might be represented as (1, ‘if’, 12), where
the 12 represents the line number at which the terminal symbol was found.
Terminal elements are represented in much the same way, but without any child
elements and the addition of the source text which was identified. The example
of the if keyword above is representative. The various types of
terminal symbols are defined in the C header file Include/token. h and
the Python module token.
The ST objects are not required to support the functionality of this module,
but are provided for three purposes: to allow an application to amortize the
cost of processing complex parse trees, to provide a parse tree representation
which conserves memory space when compared to the Python list or tuple
representation, and to ease the creation of additional modules in C which
manipulate parse trees. A simple “wrapper” class may be created in Python to
hide the use of ST objects.
The parser module defines functions for a few distinct purposes. The
most important purposes are to create ST objects and to convert ST objects to
other representations such as parse trees and compiled code objects, but there
are also functions which serve to query the type of parse tree represented by an
ST object.
See also
Module symbolUseful constants representing internal nodes of the parse tree.
Module tokenUseful constants representing leaf nodes of the parse tree and functions for
testing node values.
Creating ST Objects¶
ST objects may be created from source code or from a parse tree. When creating
an ST object from source, different functions are used to create the ‘eval’
and ‘exec’ forms.
(source)¶
The expr() function parses the parameter source as if it were an input
to compile(source, ”, ‘eval’). If the parse succeeds, an ST object
is created to hold the internal parse tree representation, otherwise an
appropriate exception is raised.
The suite() function parses the parameter source as if it were an input
to compile(source, ”, ‘exec’). If the parse succeeds, an ST object
quence2st(sequence)¶
This function accepts a parse tree represented as a sequence and builds an
internal representation if possible. If it can validate that the tree conforms
to the Python grammar and all nodes are valid node types in the host version of
Python, an ST object is created from the internal representation and returned
to the called. If there is a problem creating the internal representation, or
if the tree cannot be validated, a ParserError exception is raised. An
ST object created this way should not be assumed to compile correctly; normal
exceptions raised by compilation may still be initiated when the ST object is
passed to compilest(). This may indicate problems not related to syntax
(such as a MemoryError exception), but may also be due to constructs such
as the result of parsing del f(0), which escapes the Python parser but is
checked by the bytecode compiler.
Sequences representing terminal tokens may be represented as either two-element
lists of the form (1, ‘name’) or as three-element lists of the form (1,
‘name’, 56). If the third element is present, it is assumed to be a valid
line number. The line number may be specified for any subset of the terminal
symbols in the input tree.
parser. tuple2st(sequence)¶
This is the same function as sequence2st(). This entry point is
maintained for backward compatibility.
Converting ST Objects¶
ST objects, regardless of the input used to create them, may be converted to
parse trees represented as list- or tuple- trees, or may be compiled into
executable code objects. Parse trees may be extracted with or without line
numbering information.
2list(st, line_info=False, col_info=False)¶
This function accepts an ST object from the caller in st and returns a
Python list representing the equivalent parse tree. The resulting list
representation can be used for inspection or the creation of a new parse tree in
list form. This function does not fail so long as memory is available to build
the list representation. If the parse tree will only be used for inspection,
st2tuple() should be used instead to reduce memory consumption and
fragmentation. When the list representation is required, this function is
significantly faster than retrieving a tuple representation and converting that
to nested lists.
If line_info is true, line number information will be included for all
terminal tokens as a third element of the list representing the token. Note
that the line number provided specifies the line on which the token ends.
This information is omitted if the flag is false or omitted.
2tuple(st, line_info=False, col_info=False)¶
Python tuple representing the equivalent parse tree. Other than returning a
tuple instead of a list, this function is identical to st2list().
terminal tokens as a third element of the list representing the token. This
information is omitted if the flag is false or omitted.
mpilest(st, filename=’‘)¶
The Python byte compiler can be invoked on an ST object to produce code objects
which can be used as part of a call to the built-in exec() or eval()
functions. This function provides the interface to the compiler, passing the
internal parse tree from st to the parser, using the source file name
specified by the filename parameter. The default value supplied for filename
indicates that the source was an ST object.
Compiling an ST object may result in exceptions related to compilation; an
example would be a SyntaxError caused by the parse tree for del f(0):
this statement is considered legal within the formal grammar for Python but is
not a legal language construct. The SyntaxError raised for this
condition is actually generated by the Python byte-compiler normally, which is
why it can be raised at this point by the parser module. Most causes of
compilation failure can be diagnosed programmatically by inspection of the parse
tree.
Queries on ST Objects¶
Two functions are provided which allow an application to determine if an ST was
created as an expression or a suite. Neither of these functions can be used to
determine if an ST was created from source code via expr() or
suite() or from a parse tree via sequence2st().
(st)¶
When st represents an ‘eval’ form, this function returns True, otherwise
it returns False. This is useful, since code objects normally cannot be queried
for this information using existing built-in functions. Note that the code
objects created by compilest() cannot be queried like this either, and
are identical to those created by the built-in compile() function.
suite(st)¶
This function mirrors isexpr() in that it reports whether an ST object
represents an ‘exec’ form, commonly known as a “suite. ” It is not safe to
assume that this function is equivalent to not isexpr(st), as additional
syntactic fragments may be supported in the future.
Exceptions and Error Handling¶
The parser module defines a single exception, but may also pass other built-in
exceptions from other portions of the Python runtime environment. See each
function for information about the exceptions it can raise.
exception rserError¶
Exception raised when a failure occurs within the parser module. This is
generally produced for validation failures rather than the built-in
SyntaxError raised during normal parsing. The exception argument is
either a string describing the reason of the failure or a tuple containing a
sequence causing the failure from a parse tree passed to sequence2st()
and an explanatory string. Calls to sequence2st() need to be able to
handle either type of exception, while calls to other functions in the module
will only need to be aware of the simple string values.
Note that the functions compilest(), expr(), and suite() may
raise exceptions which are normally raised by the parsing and compilation
process. These include the built in exceptions MemoryError,
OverflowError, SyntaxError, and SystemError. In these
cases, these exceptions carry all the meaning normally associated with them.
Refer to the descriptions of each function for detailed information.
ST Objects¶
Ordered and equality comparisons are supported between ST objects. Pickling of
ST objects (using the pickle module) is also supported.

The type of the objects returned by expr(), suite() and
sequence2st().
ST objects have the following methods:
mpile(filename=’‘)¶
Same as compilest(st, filename).
()¶
Same as isexpr(st).
suite()¶
Same as issuite(st).
(line_info=False, col_info=False)¶
Same as st2list(st, line_info, col_info).
tuple(line_info=False, col_info=False)¶
Same as st2tuple(st, line_info, col_info).
Example: Emulation of compile()¶
While many useful operations may take place between parsing and bytecode
generation, the simplest operation is to do nothing. For this purpose, using
the parser module to produce an intermediate data structure is equivalent
to the code
>>> code = compile(‘a + 5’, ”, ‘eval’)
>>> a = 5
>>> eval(code)
10
The equivalent operation using the parser module is somewhat longer, and
allows the intermediate internal parse tree to be retained as an ST object:
>>> import parser
>>> st = (‘a + 5’)
>>> code = mpile(”)
An application which needs both ST and code objects can package this code into
readily available functions:
import parser
def load_suite(source_string):
st = (source_string)
return st, mpile()
def load_expression(source_string):
return st, mpile()
Python Parser | Working of Python Parse with different Examples

Python Parser | Working of Python Parse with different Examples

Introduction to Python Parser
In this article, parsing is defined as the processing of a piece of python program and converting these codes into machine language. In general, we can say parse is a command for dividing the given program code into a small piece of code for analyzing the correct syntax. In Python, there is a built-in module called parse which provides an interface between the Python internal parser and compiler, where this module allows the python program to edit the small fragments of code and create the executable program from this edited parse tree of python code. In Python, there is another module known as argparse to parse command-line options.
Working of Python Parse with Examples
In this article, Python parser is mainly used for converting data in the required format, this conversion process is known as parsing. As in many different applications data obtained can have different data formats and these formats might not be suitable to the particular application and here comes the use of parser that means parsing is necessary for such situations. Therefore, parsing is generally defined as the conversion of data with one format to some other format is known as parsing. In parser consists of two parts lexer and a parser and in some cases only parsers are used.
Python parsing is done using various ways such as the use of parser module, parsing using regular expressions, parsing using some string methods such as split() and strip(), parsing using pandas such as reading CSV file to text by using, etc. There is also a concept of argument parsing which means in Python, we have a module named argparse which is used for parsing data with one or more arguments from the terminal or command-line. There are other different modules when working with argument parsings such as getopt, sys, and argparse modules. Now let us below the demonstration for Python parser. In Python, the parser can also be created using few tools such as parser generators and there is a library known as parser combinators that are used for creating parsers.
Now let us see in the below example of how the parser module is used for parsing the given expressions.
Example #1
Code:
import parser
print(“Program to demonstrate parser module in Python”)
print(“\n”)
exp = “5 + 8”
print(“The given expression for parsing is as follows:”)
print(exp)
print(“Parsing of given expression results as: “)
st = (exp)
print(st)
print(“The parsed object is converted to the code object”)
code = mpile()
print(code)
print(“The evaluated result of the given expression is as follows:”)
res = eval(code)
print(res)
Output:
In the above program, we first need to import the parser module, and then we have declared expression to calculate, and to parse this expression we have to use a () function. Then we can evaluate the given expression using eval() function.
In Python, sometimes we get data that consists of date-time format which would be in CSV format or text format. So to parse such formats in proper date-time formats Python provides parse_dates() function. Suppose we have a CSV file that contains data and the data time details are separated with a comma which makes it difficult for reading therefore for such cases we use parse_dates() but before that, we have to import pandas as this function is provided by pandas.
In Python, we can also parse command-line options and arguments using an argparse module which is very user friendly for the command-line interface. Suppose we have Unix commands to execute through python command-line interface such as ls which list all the directories in the current drive and it will take many different arguments also therefore to create such command-line interface we use an argparse module in Python. Therefore, to create a command-line interface in Python we need to do the following; firstly, we have to import an argparse module, then we create an object for holding arguments using ArgumentParser() through the argparse module, later we can add arguments the ArgumentParser() object that will be created and we can run any commands in Python command line. Note as running any commands is not free other than the help command. So here is a small piece of code for how to write the python code to create a command line interface using an argparse module.
import argparse
Now we have created an object using ArgumentParser() and then we can parse the arguments using rse_args() function.
parser = gumentParser()
rse_args()
To add the arguments we can use add_argument() along with passing the argument to this function such as d_argument(“ ls ”). So let us see a small example below.
Example #2
d_argument(“ls”)
args = rse_args()
print()
So in the above program, we can see the screenshot of the output as we cannot use any other commands so it will give an error but when we have an argparse module then we can run the commands in python shell as follows:
$ python –help
usage: [-h] echo
Positional Arguments:
echo
Optional Arguments:
-h, –helpshow this help message and exit
$ python Educba
Educba
Conclusion
In this article, we conclude that Python provides a parsing concept. In this article, we saw that the parsing process is very simple which in general is the process of parting the large string of one type of format for converting this format to another required format is known as parsing. This is done in many different ways in Python using python string methods such as split() or strip(), using python pandas for converting CSV files to text format. In this, we saw that we can even use a parser module for using it as a command-line interface where we can run the commands easily using the argparse module in Python. In the above, we saw how to use argparse and how can we run the commands in Python terminal.
Recommended Articles
This is a guide to Python Parser. Here we also discuss the introduction and working of python parser along with different examples and its code implementation. You may also have a look at the following articles to learn more –
Python Timezone
Python NameError
Python OS Module
Python Event Loop
Parsing text with Python - vipinajayakumar

Parsing text with Python – vipinajayakumar

I hate parsing files, but it is something that I have had to do at the start of nearly every project. Parsing is not easy, and it can be a stumbling block for beginners. However, once you become comfortable with parsing files, you never have to worry about that part of the problem. That is why I recommend that beginners get comfortable with parsing files early on in their programming education. This article is aimed at Python beginners who are interested in learning to parse text files.
In this article, I will introduce you to my system for parsing files. I will briefly touch on parsing files in standard formats, but what I want to focus on is the parsing of complex text files. What do I mean by complex? Well, we will get to that, young padawan.
For reference, the slide deck that I use to present on this topic is available here. All of the code and the sample text that I use is available in my Github repo here.
Why parse files?
The big picture
Parsing text in standard format
Parsing text using string methods
Parsing text in complex format using regular expressions
Step 1: Understand the input format
Step 2: Import the required packages
Step 3: Define regular expressions
Step 4: Write a line parser
Step 5: Write a file parser
Step 6: Test the parser
Is this the best solution?
Conclusion
First, let us understand what the problem is. Why do we even need to parse files? In an imaginary world where all data existed in the same format, one could expect all programs to input and output that data. There would be no need to parse files. However, we live in a world where there is a wide variety of data formats. Some data formats are better suited to different applications. An individual program can only be expected to cater for a selection of these data formats. So, inevitably there is a need to convert data from one format to another for consumption by different programs. Sometimes data is not even in a standard format which makes things a little harder.
So, what is parsing?
Parse
Analyse (a string or text) into logical syntactic components.
I don’t like the above Oxford dictionary definition. So, here is my alternate definition.
Convert data in a certain format into a more usable format.
With that definition in mind, we can imagine that our input may be in any format. So, the first step, when faced with any parsing problem, is to understand the input data format. If you are lucky, there will be documentation that describes the data format. If not, you may have to decipher the data format for yourselves. That is always fun.
Once you understand the input data, the next step is to determine what would be a more usable format. Well, this depends entirely on how you plan on using the data. If the program that you want to feed the data into expects a CSV format, then that’s your end product. For further data analysis, I highly recommend reading the data into a pandas DataFrame.
If you a Python data analyst then you are most likely familiar with pandas. It is a Python package that provides the DataFrame class and other functions to do insanely powerful data analysis with minimal effort. It is an abstraction on top of Numpy which provides multi-dimensional arrays, similar to Matlab. The DataFrame is a 2D array, but it can have multiple row and column indices, which pandas calls MultiIndex, that essentially allows it to store multi-dimensional data. SQL or database style operations can be easily performed with pandas (Comparison with SQL). Pandas also comes with a suite of IO tools which includes functions to deal with CSV, MS Excel, JSON, HDF5 and other data formats.
Although, we would want to read the data into a feature-rich data structure like a pandas DataFrame, it would be very inefficient to create an empty DataFrame and directly write data to it. A DataFrame is a complex data structure, and writing something to a DataFrame item by item is computationally expensive. It’s a lot faster to read the data into a primitive data type like a list or a dict. Once the list or dict is created, pandas allows us to easily convert it to a DataFrame as you will see later on. The image below shows the standard process when it comes to parsing any file.
If your data is in a standard format or close enough, then there is probably an existing package that you can use to read your data with minimal effort.
For example, let’s say we have a CSV file,
a, b, c
1, 2, 3
4, 5, 6
7, 8, 9
You can handle this easily with pandas.
123
import pandas as pd
df = ad_csv(”)
df
a b c
0 1 2 3
1 4 5 6
2 7 8 9
Python is incredible when it comes to dealing with strings. It is worth internalising all the common string operations. We can use these methods to extract data from a string as you can see in the simple example below.
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my_string = ‘Names: Romeo, Juliet’
# split the string at ‘:’
step_0 = (‘:’)
# get the first slice of the list
step_1 = step_0[1]
# split the string at ‘, ‘
step_2 = (‘, ‘)
# strip leading and trailing edge spaces of each item of the list
step_3 = [() for name in step_2]
# do all the above operations in one go
one_go = [() for name in (‘:’)[1](‘, ‘)]
for idx, item in enumerate([step_0, step_1, step_2, step_3]):
print(“Step {}: {}”(idx, item))
print(“Final result in one go: {}”(one_go))
Step 0: [‘Names’, ‘ Romeo, Juliet’]
Step 1: Romeo, Juliet
Step 2: [‘ Romeo’, ‘ Juliet’]
Step 3: [‘Romeo’, ‘Juliet’]
Final result in one go: [‘Romeo’, ‘Juliet’]
As you saw in the previous two sections, if the parsing problem is simple we might get away with just using an existing parser or some string methods. However, life ain’t always that easy. How do we go about parsing a complex text file?
with open(”) as file:
file_contents = ()
print(file_contents)
Sample text
A selection of students from Riverdale High and Hogwarts took part in a quiz.
Below is a record of their scores.
School = Riverdale High
Grade = 1
Student number, Name
0, Phoebe
1, Rachel
Student number, Score
0, 3
1, 7
Grade = 2
0, Angela
1, Tristan
2, Aurora
0, 6
1, 3
2, 9
School = Hogwarts
0, Ginny
1, Luna
0, 8
0, Harry
1, Hermione
0, 5
1, 10
Grade = 3
0, Fred
1, George
0, 0
1, 0
That’s a pretty complex input file! Phew! The data it contains is pretty simple though as you can see below:
Name Score
School Grade Student number
Hogwarts 1 0 Ginny 8
1 Luna 7
2 0 Harry 5
1 Hermione 10
3 0 Fred 0
1 George 0
Riverdale High 1 0 Phoebe 3
1 Rachel 7
2 0 Angela 6
1 Tristan 3
2 Aurora 9
The sample text looks similar to a CSV in that it uses commas to separate out some information. There is a title and some metadata at the top of the file. There are five variables: School, Grade, Student number, Name and Score. School, Grade and Student number are keys. Name and Score are fields. For a given School, Grade, Student number there is a Name and a Score. In other words, School, Grade, and Student Number together form a compound key.
The data is given in a hierarchical format. First, a School is declared, then a Grade. This is followed by two tables providing Name and Score for each Student number. Then Grade is incremented. This is followed by another set of tables. Then the pattern repeats for another School. Note that the number of students in a Grade or the number of classes in a school are not constant, which adds a bit of complexity to the file. This is just a small dataset. You can easily imagine this being a massive file with lots of schools, grades and students.
It goes without saying that the data format is exceptionally poor. I have done this on purpose. If you understand how to handle this, then it will be a lot easier for you to master simpler formats. It’s not unusual to come across files like this if have to deal with a lot of legacy systems. In the past when those systems were being designed, it may not have been a requirement for the data output to be machine readable. However, nowadays everything needs to be machine-readable!
We will need the Regular expressions module and the pandas package. So, let’s go ahead and import those.
12
import re
In the last step, we imported re, the regular expressions module. What is it though?
Well, earlier on we saw how to use the string methods to extract data from text. However, when parsing complex files, we can end up with a lot of stripping, splitting, slicing and whatnot and the code can end up looking pretty unreadable. That is where regular expressions come in. It is essentially a tiny language embedded inside Python that allows you to say what string pattern you are looking for. It is not unique to Python by the way (treehouse).
You do not need to become a master at regular expressions. However, some basic knowledge of regexes can be very handy in your programming career. I will only teach you the very basics in this article, but I encourage you to do some further study. I also recommend regexper for visualising regular expressions. regex101 is another excellent resource for testing your regular expression.
We are going to need three regexes. The first one, as shown below, will help us to identify the school. Its regular expression is School = (. *)\n. What do the symbols mean?. : Any character
*: 0 or more of the preceding expression
(. *): Placing part of a regular expression inside parentheses allows you to group that part of the expression. So, in this case, the grouped part is the name of the school.
\n: The newline character at the end of the line
We then need a regular expression for the grade. Its regular expression is Grade = (\d+)\n. This is very similar to the previous expression. The new symbols are:
\d: Short for [0-9]
+: 1 or more of the preceding expression
Finally, we need a regular expression to identify whether the table that follows the expression in the text file is a table of names or scores. Its regular expression is (Name|Score). The new symbol is:
|: Logical or statement, so in this case, it means ‘Name’ or ‘Score. ’
We also need to understand a few regular expression functions:
mpile(pattern): Compile a regular expression pattern into a RegexObject.
A RegexObject has the following methods:
match(string): If the beginning of string matches the regular expression, return a corresponding MatchObject instance. Otherwise, return None.
search(string): Scan through string looking for a location where this regular expression produced a match, and return a corresponding MatchObject instance. Return None if there are no matches.
A MatchObject always has a boolean value of True. Thus, we can just use an if statement to identify positive matches. It has the following method:
group(): Returns one or more subgroups of the match. Groups can be referred to by their index. group(0) returns the entire match. group(1) returns the first parenthesized subgroup and so on. The regular expressions we used only have a single group. Easy! However, what if there were multiple groups? It would get hard to remember which number a group belongs to. A Python specific extension allows us to name the groups and refer to them by their name instead. We can specify a name within a parenthesized group (… ) like so: (? P… ).
Let us first define all the regular expressions. Be sure to use raw strings for regex, i. e., use the subscript r before each pattern.
1234567
# set up regular expressions
# use to visualise these if required
rx_dict = {
‘school’: mpile(r’School = (? P. *)\n’),
‘grade’: mpile(r’Grade = (? P\d+)\n’),
‘name_score’: mpile(r'(? PName|Score)’), }
Then, we can define a function that checks for regex matches.
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def _parse_line(line):
“””
Do a regex search against all defined regexes and
return the key and match result of the first matching regex
for key, rx in ():
match = (line)
if match:
return key, match
# if there are no matches
return None, None
Finally, for the main event, we have the file parser function. It is quite big, but the comments in the code should hopefully help you understand the logic.
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def parse_file(filepath):
Parse text at given filepath
Parameters
———-
filepath: str
Filepath for file_object to be parsed
Returns
——-
data: Frame
Parsed data
data = [] # create an empty list to collect the data
# open the file and read through it line by line
with open(filepath, ‘r’) as file_object:
line = adline()
while line:
# at each line check for a match with a regex
key, match = _parse_line(line)
# extract school name
if key == ‘school’:
school = (‘school’)
# extract grade
if key == ‘grade’:
grade = (‘grade’)
grade = int(grade)
# identify a table header
if key == ‘name_score’:
# extract type of table, i. e., Name or Score
value_type = (‘name_score’)
# read each line of the table until a blank line
while ():
# extract number and value
number, value = ()(‘, ‘)
value = ()
# create a dictionary containing this row of data
row = {
‘School’: school,
‘Grade’: grade,
‘Student number’: number,
value_type: value}
# append the dictionary to the data list
(row)
# create a pandas DataFrame from the list of dicts
data = Frame(data)
# set the School, Grade, and Student number as the index
t_index([‘School’, ‘Grade’, ‘Student number’], inplace=True)
# consolidate df to remove nans
data = oupby()()
# upgrade Score from float to integer
data = (_numeric, errors=’ignore’)
return data
We can use our parser on our sample text like so:
1234
if __name__ == ‘__main__’:
filepath = ”
data = parse(filepath)
print(data)
This is all well and good, and you can see by comparing the input and output by eye that the parser is working correctly. However, the best practice is to always write unittests to make sure your code is doing what you intended it to do. Whenever you write a parser, please ensure that it’s well tested. I have gotten into trouble with my colleagues for using parsers without testing before. Eeek! It’s also worth noting that this does not necessarily need to be the last step. Indeed, lots of programmers preach about Test Driven Development. I have not included a test suite here as I wanted to keep this tutorial concise.
I have been parsing text files for a year and perfected my method over time. Even so, I did some additional research to find out if there was a better solution. Indeed, I owe thanks to various community members who advised me on optimising my code. The community also offered some different ways of parsing the text file. Some of them were clever and exciting. My personal favourite was this one. I presented my sample problem and solution at the forums below:
Reddit post
Stackoverflow post
Code review post
If your problem is even more complex and regular expressions don’t cut it, then the next step would be to consider parsing libraries. Here are a couple of places to start with:
Parsing Horrible Things with Python:
A PyCon lecture by Erik Rose looking at the pros and cons of various parsing libraries.
Parsing in Python: Tools and Libraries:
Tools and libraries that allow you to create parsers when regular expressions are not enough.
Now that you understand how difficult and annoying it can be to parse text files, if you ever find yourselves in the privileged position of choosing a file format, choose it with care. Here are Stanford’s best practices for file formats.
I’d be lying if I said I was delighted with my parsing method, but I’m not aware of another way, of quickly parsing a text file, that is as beginner friendly as what I’ve presented above. If you know of a better solution, I’m all ears! I have hopefully given you a good starting point for parsing a file in Python! I spent a couple of months trying lots of different methods and writing some insanely unreadable code before I finally figured it out and now I don’t think twice about parsing a file. So, I hope I have been able to save you some time. Have fun parsing text with python!

Frequently Asked Questions about python parse

What is parsing in Python?

In this article, parsing is defined as the processing of a piece of python program and converting these codes into machine language. In general, we can say parse is a command for dividing the given program code into a small piece of code for analyzing the correct syntax.

How do you parse in Python?

Parsing text in complex format using regular expressionsStep 1: Understand the input format. 123. … Step 2: Import the required packages. We will need the Regular expressions module and the pandas package. … Step 3: Define regular expressions. … Step 4: Write a line parser. … Step 5: Write a file parser. … Step 6: Test the parser.Jan 7, 2018

How do I parse a string in Python?

Use str. split() to split the string Call str. split(sep) to parse the string str by the delimeter sep into a list of strings. Call str. split(sep, maxsplit) and state the maxsplit parameter to specify the maximum number of splits to perform.

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