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The 'py' lib provides a uniform high-level api to deal with filesystems
and filesystem-like interfaces: ``py.path``. It aims to offer a central
object to fs-like object trees (reading from and writing to files, adding
files/directories, examining the types and structure, etc.), and out-of-the-box
provides a number of implementations of this API.
py.path.local - local file system path
.. _`local`:
basic interactive example
The first and most obvious of the implementations is a wrapper around a local
filesystem. It's just a bit nicer in usage than the regular Python APIs, and
of course all the functionality is bundled together rather than spread over a
number of modules.
Example usage, here we use the ``py.test.ensuretemp()`` function to create
a ``py.path.local`` object for us (which wraps a directory):
.. sourcecode:: pycon
>>> import py
>>> temppath = py.test.ensuretemp('py.path_documentation')
>>> foopath = temppath.join('foo') # get child 'foo' (lazily)
>>> foopath.check() # check if child 'foo' exists
>>> foopath.write('bar') # write some data to it
>>> foopath.check()
>>> foofile = # return a 'real' file object
reference documentation
.. autoclass:: py._path.local.LocalPath
``py.path.svnurl`` and ``py.path.svnwc``
Two other ``py.path`` implementations that the py lib provides wrap the
popular `Subversion`_ revision control system: the first (called 'svnurl')
by interfacing with a remote server, the second by wrapping a local checkout.
Both allow you to access relatively advanced features such as metadata and
versioning, and both in a way more user-friendly manner than existing other
Some example usage of ``py.path.svnurl``:
.. sourcecode:: pycon
.. >>> import py
.. >>> if not py.test.config.option.urlcheck: raise ValueError('skipchunk')
>>> url = py.path.svnurl('')
>>> info =
>>> info.kind
>>> firstentry = url.log()[-1]
>>> import time
>>> time.strftime('%Y-%m-%d', time.gmtime(
Example usage of ``py.path.svnwc``:
.. sourcecode:: pycon
.. >>> if not py.test.config.option.urlcheck: raise ValueError('skipchunk')
>>> temp = py.test.ensuretemp('py.path_documentation')
>>> wc = py.path.svnwc(temp.join('svnwc'))
>>> wc.checkout('')
>>> wc.join('').check()
.. _`Subversion`:
svn path related API reference
.. autoclass:: py._path.svnwc.SvnWCCommandPath
.. autoclass:: py._path.svnurl.SvnCommandPath
.. autoclass:: py._path.svnwc.SvnAuth
Common vs. specific API, Examples
All Path objects support a common set of operations, suitable
for many use cases and allowing to transparently switch the
path object within an application (e.g. from "local" to "svnwc").
The common set includes functions such as `` to read all data
from a file, `path.write()` to write data, `path.listdir()` to get a list
of directory entries, `path.check()` to check if a node exists
and is of a particular type, `path.join()` to get
to a (grand)child, `path.visit()` to recursively walk through a node's
children, etc. Only things that are not common on 'normal' filesystems (yet),
such as handling metadata (e.g. the Subversion "properties") require
using specific APIs.
A quick 'cookbook' of small examples that will be useful 'in real life',
which also presents parts of the 'common' API, and shows some non-common
Searching `.txt` files
Search for a particular string inside all files with a .txt extension in a
specific directory.
.. sourcecode:: pycon
>>> dirpath = temppath.ensure('testdir', dir=True)
>>> dirpath.join('textfile1.txt').write('foo bar baz')
>>> dirpath.join('textfile2.txt').write('frob bar spam eggs')
>>> subdir = dirpath.ensure('subdir', dir=True)
>>> subdir.join('textfile1.txt').write('foo baz')
>>> subdir.join('textfile2.txt').write('spam eggs spam foo bar spam')
>>> results = []
>>> for fpath in dirpath.visit('*.txt'):
... if 'bar' in
... results.append(fpath.basename)
>>> results.sort()
>>> results
['textfile1.txt', 'textfile2.txt', 'textfile2.txt']
Working with Paths
This example shows the ``py.path`` features to deal with
filesystem paths Note that the filesystem is never touched,
all operations are performed on a string level (so the paths
don't have to exist, either):
.. sourcecode:: pycon
>>> p1 = py.path.local('/foo/bar')
>>> p2 = p1.join('baz/qux')
>>> p2 == py.path.local('/foo/bar/baz/qux')
>>> sep = py.path.local.sep
>>> p2.relto(p1).replace(sep, '/') # os-specific path sep in the string
>>> p2.bestrelpath(p1).replace(sep, '/')
>>> p2.join(p2.bestrelpath(p1)) == p1
>>> p3 = p1 / 'baz/qux' # the / operator allows joining, too
>>> p2 == p3
>>> p4 = p1 + ".py"
>>> p4.basename == ""
>>> p4.ext == ".py"
>>> p4.purebasename == "bar"
This should be possible on every implementation of ``py.path``, so
regardless of whether the implementation wraps a UNIX filesystem, a Windows
one, or a database or object tree, these functions should be available (each
with their own notion of path seperators and dealing with conversions, etc.).
Checking path types
Now we will show a bit about the powerful 'check()' method on paths, which
allows you to check whether a file exists, what type it is, etc.:
.. sourcecode:: pycon
>>> file1 = temppath.join('file1')
>>> file1.check() # does it exist?
>>> file1 = file1.ensure(file=True) # 'touch' the file
>>> file1.check()
>>> file1.check(dir=True) # is it a dir?
>>> file1.check(file=True) # or a file?
>>> file1.check(ext='.txt') # check the extension
>>> textfile = temppath.ensure('text.txt', file=True)
>>> textfile.check(ext='.txt')
>>> file1.check(basename='file1') # we can use all the path's properties here
Setting svn-properties
As an example of 'uncommon' methods, we'll show how to read and write
properties in an ``py.path.svnwc`` instance:
.. sourcecode:: pycon
.. >>> if not py.test.config.option.urlcheck: raise ValueError('skipchunk')
>>> wc.propget('foo')
>>> wc.propset('foo', 'bar')
>>> wc.propget('foo')
>>> len(wc.status().prop_modified) # our own props
>>> msg = wc.revert() # roll back our changes
>>> len(wc.status().prop_modified)
SVN authentication
Some uncommon functionality can also be provided as extensions, such as SVN
.. sourcecode:: pycon
.. >>> if not py.test.config.option.urlcheck: raise ValueError('skipchunk')
>>> auth = py.path.SvnAuth('anonymous', 'user', cache_auth=False,
... interactive=False)
>>> wc.auth = auth
>>> wc.update() # this should work
>>> path = wc.ensure('thisshouldnotexist.txt')
>>> try:
... path.commit('testing')
... except py.process.cmdexec.Error, e:
... pass
>>> 'authorization failed' in str(e)
Known problems / limitations
* The SVN path objects require the "svn" command line,
there is currently no support for python bindings.
Parsing the svn output can lead to problems, particularly
regarding if you have a non-english "locales" setting.
* While the path objects basically work on windows,
there is no attention yet on making unicode paths
work or deal with the famous "8.3" filename issues.