Python | Pandas Reverse splitting strings into two lists / columns using str.rsplit ()

File handling | Python Methods and Functions | sin | split | String Variables

Pandas provide a method to split a string around a missing delimiter or delimiter. The row can then be saved as a list in a series, or it can also be used to create a multi-column dataframe from one single row.  rsplit () works similarly to .split () but rsplit () starts splitting from the right side. This function is also useful when the delimiter / delimiter occurs more than once.

.str must be prefixed each time before calling this method to distinguish it from the default function in Python, otherwise it will throw an error.

Syntax:
Series.str.rsplit (pat = None, n = - 1, expand = False)

Parameters:
pat: String value, separator or delimiter to separate string at.
n: Numbers of max separations to make in a single string, default is -1 which means all.
expand: Boolean value, returns a data frame with different value in different columns if True. Else it returns a series with list of strings

Return type: Series of list or Data frame depending on expand Parameter

To download used CSV file, click here.

In the following examples, the data frame used contains data about some NBA players. An image of the data frame before any operations is attached below. 

Example # 1: Splitting a line from the right side into a list

In this example, the row in the Team column is split each time "t" appears. The parameter n is kept at 1, so the maximum number of splits per line is 1. Since rsplit () is used, the line will be split from the right side.

# import pandas module

import pandas as pd

 
# read CSV file from URL

data = pd.read_csv ( " https://media.python.engineering/wp-content/uploads/nba.csv " )

  
# deleting null columns to avoid errors

data.dropna (inplace = True )

 
# new data frame with delimited columns

data [ "Team" ] = data [ "Team" ]. str . rsplit ( "t" , n = 1 , expand = False )

 
# display
data

Output:
As shown in the output image, the line was split by "t" in "Celtics" and the "t" in "Boston". This is because the split happened in the opposite order. Since the expansion parameter was left False, a list was returned. 

Example # 2: Creating single columns from a row using .rsplit ()

In this example, the Name column is separated by a space ("") and the extension parameter is set to True, which means it will return a data frame with all the rows separated in another column ... The dataframe is then used to create new columns and the old name column is dropped using the .drop () method.

The n parameter is kept at 1 because there can also be middle names (more than one space per line). In this case rsplit () is useful as it calculates from the right side and hence the middle name row will be included in the name column since the maximum number of splits is kept 1.

# pandas module import

import pandas as pd 

 
# read CSV file from URL

data = pd.read_csv ( " https://media.python.engineering/wp-content/uploads /nba.csv "

  
# deleting null columns o values ​​to avoid errors

data.dropna (inplace = True

 
# new data frame with delimited columns

new = data [ "Name" ]. str . split ( " " , n = 1 , expand = True

 
# create a separate name column from a new data frame

data [ "First Name" ] = new [ 0

 
# create a separate last name column from a new data frame

data [ "Last Name" ] = new [ 1

 
# Remove old columns Name

data.drop (columns = [ "Name" ], inplace = True

  
# df display
data 

Output:
As shown in the output image, two new columns have been created and the old Name column has been removed. 





Python | Pandas Reverse splitting strings into two lists / columns using str.rsplit (): StackOverflow Questions

How do I merge two dictionaries in a single expression (taking union of dictionaries)?

Question by Carl Meyer

I have two Python dictionaries, and I want to write a single expression that returns these two dictionaries, merged (i.e. taking the union). The update() method would be what I need, if it returned its result instead of modifying a dictionary in-place.

>>> x = {"a": 1, "b": 2}
>>> y = {"b": 10, "c": 11}
>>> z = x.update(y)
>>> print(z)
None
>>> x
{"a": 1, "b": 10, "c": 11}

How can I get that final merged dictionary in z, not x?

(To be extra-clear, the last-one-wins conflict-handling of dict.update() is what I"m looking for as well.)

Accessing the index in "for" loops?

Question by Joan Venge

How do I access the index in a for loop like the following?

ints = [8, 23, 45, 12, 78]
for i in ints:
    print("item #{} = {}".format(???, i))

I want to get this output:

item #1 = 8
item #2 = 23
item #3 = 45
item #4 = 12
item #5 = 78

When I loop through it using a for loop, how do I access the loop index, from 1 to 5 in this case?

Iterating over dictionaries using "for" loops

I am a bit puzzled by the following code:

d = {"x": 1, "y": 2, "z": 3} 
for key in d:
    print (key, "corresponds to", d[key])

What I don"t understand is the key portion. How does Python recognize that it needs only to read the key from the dictionary? Is key a special word in Python? Or is it simply a variable?

Using global variables in a function

How can I create or use a global variable in a function?

If I create a global variable in one function, how can I use that global variable in another function? Do I need to store the global variable in a local variable of the function which needs its access?

Manually raising (throwing) an exception in Python

How can I raise an exception in Python so that it can later be caught via an except block?

Calling a function of a module by using its name (a string)

What is the best way to go about calling a function given a string with the function"s name in a Python program. For example, let"s say that I have a module foo, and I have a string whose content is "bar". What is the best way to call foo.bar()?

I need to get the return value of the function, which is why I don"t just use eval. I figured out how to do it by using eval to define a temp function that returns the result of that function call, but I"m hoping that there is a more elegant way to do this.

What is the meaning of single and double underscore before an object name?

Can someone please explain the exact meaning of having single and double leading underscores before an object"s name in Python, and the difference between both?

Also, does that meaning stay the same regardless of whether the object in question is a variable, a function, a method, etc.?

Save plot to image file instead of displaying it using Matplotlib

I am writing a quick-and-dirty script to generate plots on the fly. I am using the code below (from Matplotlib documentation) as a starting point:

from pylab import figure, axes, pie, title, show

# Make a square figure and axes
figure(1, figsize=(6, 6))
ax = axes([0.1, 0.1, 0.8, 0.8])

labels = "Frogs", "Hogs", "Dogs", "Logs"
fracs = [15, 30, 45, 10]

explode = (0, 0.05, 0, 0)
pie(fracs, explode=explode, labels=labels, autopct="%1.1f%%", shadow=True)
title("Raining Hogs and Dogs", bbox={"facecolor": "0.8", "pad": 5})

show()  # Actually, don"t show, just save to foo.png

I don"t want to display the plot on a GUI, instead, I want to save the plot to a file (say foo.png), so that, for example, it can be used in batch scripts. How do I do that?

What are the differences between type() and isinstance()?

What are the differences between these two code fragments?

Using type():

import types

if type(a) is types.DictType:
    do_something()
if type(b) in types.StringTypes:
    do_something_else()

Using isinstance():

if isinstance(a, dict):
    do_something()
if isinstance(b, str) or isinstance(b, unicode):
    do_something_else()

How can I install packages using pip according to the requirements.txt file from a local directory?

Here is the problem:

I have a requirements.txt file that looks like:

BeautifulSoup==3.2.0
Django==1.3
Fabric==1.2.0
Jinja2==2.5.5
PyYAML==3.09
Pygments==1.4
SQLAlchemy==0.7.1
South==0.7.3
amqplib==0.6.1
anyjson==0.3
...

I have a local archive directory containing all the packages + others.

I have created a new virtualenv with

bin/virtualenv testing

Upon activating it, I tried to install the packages according to requirements.txt from the local archive directory.

source bin/activate
pip install -r /path/to/requirements.txt -f file:///path/to/archive/

I got some output that seems to indicate that the installation is fine:

Downloading/unpacking Fabric==1.2.0 (from -r ../testing/requirements.txt (line 3))
  Running setup.py egg_info for package Fabric
    warning: no previously-included files matching "*" found under directory "docs/_build"
    warning: no files found matching "fabfile.py"
Downloading/unpacking South==0.7.3 (from -r ../testing/requirements.txt (line 8))
  Running setup.py egg_info for package South
....

But a later check revealed none of the package is installed properly. I cannot import the package, and none is found in the site-packages directory of my virtualenv. So what went wrong?

Answer #1

The Python 3 range() object doesn"t produce numbers immediately; it is a smart sequence object that produces numbers on demand. All it contains is your start, stop and step values, then as you iterate over the object the next integer is calculated each iteration.

The object also implements the object.__contains__ hook, and calculates if your number is part of its range. Calculating is a (near) constant time operation *. There is never a need to scan through all possible integers in the range.

From the range() object documentation:

The advantage of the range type over a regular list or tuple is that a range object will always take the same (small) amount of memory, no matter the size of the range it represents (as it only stores the start, stop and step values, calculating individual items and subranges as needed).

So at a minimum, your range() object would do:

class my_range:
    def __init__(self, start, stop=None, step=1, /):
        if stop is None:
            start, stop = 0, start
        self.start, self.stop, self.step = start, stop, step
        if step < 0:
            lo, hi, step = stop, start, -step
        else:
            lo, hi = start, stop
        self.length = 0 if lo > hi else ((hi - lo - 1) // step) + 1

    def __iter__(self):
        current = self.start
        if self.step < 0:
            while current > self.stop:
                yield current
                current += self.step
        else:
            while current < self.stop:
                yield current
                current += self.step

    def __len__(self):
        return self.length

    def __getitem__(self, i):
        if i < 0:
            i += self.length
        if 0 <= i < self.length:
            return self.start + i * self.step
        raise IndexError("my_range object index out of range")

    def __contains__(self, num):
        if self.step < 0:
            if not (self.stop < num <= self.start):
                return False
        else:
            if not (self.start <= num < self.stop):
                return False
        return (num - self.start) % self.step == 0

This is still missing several things that a real range() supports (such as the .index() or .count() methods, hashing, equality testing, or slicing), but should give you an idea.

I also simplified the __contains__ implementation to only focus on integer tests; if you give a real range() object a non-integer value (including subclasses of int), a slow scan is initiated to see if there is a match, just as if you use a containment test against a list of all the contained values. This was done to continue to support other numeric types that just happen to support equality testing with integers but are not expected to support integer arithmetic as well. See the original Python issue that implemented the containment test.


* Near constant time because Python integers are unbounded and so math operations also grow in time as N grows, making this a O(log N) operation. Since it’s all executed in optimised C code and Python stores integer values in 30-bit chunks, you’d run out of memory before you saw any performance impact due to the size of the integers involved here.

Answer #2

Recommendation for beginners:

This is my personal recommendation for beginners: start by learning virtualenv and pip, tools which work with both Python 2 and 3 and in a variety of situations, and pick up other tools once you start needing them.

PyPI packages not in the standard library:

  • virtualenv is a very popular tool that creates isolated Python environments for Python libraries. If you"re not familiar with this tool, I highly recommend learning it, as it is a very useful tool, and I"ll be making comparisons to it for the rest of this answer.

It works by installing a bunch of files in a directory (eg: env/), and then modifying the PATH environment variable to prefix it with a custom bin directory (eg: env/bin/). An exact copy of the python or python3 binary is placed in this directory, but Python is programmed to look for libraries relative to its path first, in the environment directory. It"s not part of Python"s standard library, but is officially blessed by the PyPA (Python Packaging Authority). Once activated, you can install packages in the virtual environment using pip.

  • pyenv is used to isolate Python versions. For example, you may want to test your code against Python 2.7, 3.6, 3.7 and 3.8, so you"ll need a way to switch between them. Once activated, it prefixes the PATH environment variable with ~/.pyenv/shims, where there are special files matching the Python commands (python, pip). These are not copies of the Python-shipped commands; they are special scripts that decide on the fly which version of Python to run based on the PYENV_VERSION environment variable, or the .python-version file, or the ~/.pyenv/version file. pyenv also makes the process of downloading and installing multiple Python versions easier, using the command pyenv install.

  • pyenv-virtualenv is a plugin for pyenv by the same author as pyenv, to allow you to use pyenv and virtualenv at the same time conveniently. However, if you"re using Python 3.3 or later, pyenv-virtualenv will try to run python -m venv if it is available, instead of virtualenv. You can use virtualenv and pyenv together without pyenv-virtualenv, if you don"t want the convenience features.

  • virtualenvwrapper is a set of extensions to virtualenv (see docs). It gives you commands like mkvirtualenv, lssitepackages, and especially workon for switching between different virtualenv directories. This tool is especially useful if you want multiple virtualenv directories.

  • pyenv-virtualenvwrapper is a plugin for pyenv by the same author as pyenv, to conveniently integrate virtualenvwrapper into pyenv.

  • pipenv aims to combine Pipfile, pip and virtualenv into one command on the command-line. The virtualenv directory typically gets placed in ~/.local/share/virtualenvs/XXX, with XXX being a hash of the path of the project directory. This is different from virtualenv, where the directory is typically in the current working directory. pipenv is meant to be used when developing Python applications (as opposed to libraries). There are alternatives to pipenv, such as poetry, which I won"t list here since this question is only about the packages that are similarly named.

Standard library:

  • pyvenv (not to be confused with pyenv in the previous section) is a script shipped with Python 3 but deprecated in Python 3.6 as it had problems (not to mention the confusing name). In Python 3.6+, the exact equivalent is python3 -m venv.

  • venv is a package shipped with Python 3, which you can run using python3 -m venv (although for some reason some distros separate it out into a separate distro package, such as python3-venv on Ubuntu/Debian). It serves the same purpose as virtualenv, but only has a subset of its features (see a comparison here). virtualenv continues to be more popular than venv, especially since the former supports both Python 2 and 3.

Answer #3

You have four main options for converting types in pandas:

  1. to_numeric() - provides functionality to safely convert non-numeric types (e.g. strings) to a suitable numeric type. (See also to_datetime() and to_timedelta().)

  2. astype() - convert (almost) any type to (almost) any other type (even if it"s not necessarily sensible to do so). Also allows you to convert to categorial types (very useful).

  3. infer_objects() - a utility method to convert object columns holding Python objects to a pandas type if possible.

  4. convert_dtypes() - convert DataFrame columns to the "best possible" dtype that supports pd.NA (pandas" object to indicate a missing value).

Read on for more detailed explanations and usage of each of these methods.


1. to_numeric()

The best way to convert one or more columns of a DataFrame to numeric values is to use pandas.to_numeric().

This function will try to change non-numeric objects (such as strings) into integers or floating point numbers as appropriate.

Basic usage

The input to to_numeric() is a Series or a single column of a DataFrame.

>>> s = pd.Series(["8", 6, "7.5", 3, "0.9"]) # mixed string and numeric values
>>> s
0      8
1      6
2    7.5
3      3
4    0.9
dtype: object

>>> pd.to_numeric(s) # convert everything to float values
0    8.0
1    6.0
2    7.5
3    3.0
4    0.9
dtype: float64

As you can see, a new Series is returned. Remember to assign this output to a variable or column name to continue using it:

# convert Series
my_series = pd.to_numeric(my_series)

# convert column "a" of a DataFrame
df["a"] = pd.to_numeric(df["a"])

You can also use it to convert multiple columns of a DataFrame via the apply() method:

# convert all columns of DataFrame
df = df.apply(pd.to_numeric) # convert all columns of DataFrame

# convert just columns "a" and "b"
df[["a", "b"]] = df[["a", "b"]].apply(pd.to_numeric)

As long as your values can all be converted, that"s probably all you need.

Error handling

But what if some values can"t be converted to a numeric type?

to_numeric() also takes an errors keyword argument that allows you to force non-numeric values to be NaN, or simply ignore columns containing these values.

Here"s an example using a Series of strings s which has the object dtype:

>>> s = pd.Series(["1", "2", "4.7", "pandas", "10"])
>>> s
0         1
1         2
2       4.7
3    pandas
4        10
dtype: object

The default behaviour is to raise if it can"t convert a value. In this case, it can"t cope with the string "pandas":

>>> pd.to_numeric(s) # or pd.to_numeric(s, errors="raise")
ValueError: Unable to parse string

Rather than fail, we might want "pandas" to be considered a missing/bad numeric value. We can coerce invalid values to NaN as follows using the errors keyword argument:

>>> pd.to_numeric(s, errors="coerce")
0     1.0
1     2.0
2     4.7
3     NaN
4    10.0
dtype: float64

The third option for errors is just to ignore the operation if an invalid value is encountered:

>>> pd.to_numeric(s, errors="ignore")
# the original Series is returned untouched

This last option is particularly useful when you want to convert your entire DataFrame, but don"t not know which of our columns can be converted reliably to a numeric type. In that case just write:

df.apply(pd.to_numeric, errors="ignore")

The function will be applied to each column of the DataFrame. Columns that can be converted to a numeric type will be converted, while columns that cannot (e.g. they contain non-digit strings or dates) will be left alone.

Downcasting

By default, conversion with to_numeric() will give you either a int64 or float64 dtype (or whatever integer width is native to your platform).

That"s usually what you want, but what if you wanted to save some memory and use a more compact dtype, like float32, or int8?

to_numeric() gives you the option to downcast to either "integer", "signed", "unsigned", "float". Here"s an example for a simple series s of integer type:

>>> s = pd.Series([1, 2, -7])
>>> s
0    1
1    2
2   -7
dtype: int64

Downcasting to "integer" uses the smallest possible integer that can hold the values:

>>> pd.to_numeric(s, downcast="integer")
0    1
1    2
2   -7
dtype: int8

Downcasting to "float" similarly picks a smaller than normal floating type:

>>> pd.to_numeric(s, downcast="float")
0    1.0
1    2.0
2   -7.0
dtype: float32

2. astype()

The astype() method enables you to be explicit about the dtype you want your DataFrame or Series to have. It"s very versatile in that you can try and go from one type to the any other.

Basic usage

Just pick a type: you can use a NumPy dtype (e.g. np.int16), some Python types (e.g. bool), or pandas-specific types (like the categorical dtype).

Call the method on the object you want to convert and astype() will try and convert it for you:

# convert all DataFrame columns to the int64 dtype
df = df.astype(int)

# convert column "a" to int64 dtype and "b" to complex type
df = df.astype({"a": int, "b": complex})

# convert Series to float16 type
s = s.astype(np.float16)

# convert Series to Python strings
s = s.astype(str)

# convert Series to categorical type - see docs for more details
s = s.astype("category")

Notice I said "try" - if astype() does not know how to convert a value in the Series or DataFrame, it will raise an error. For example if you have a NaN or inf value you"ll get an error trying to convert it to an integer.

As of pandas 0.20.0, this error can be suppressed by passing errors="ignore". Your original object will be return untouched.

Be careful

astype() is powerful, but it will sometimes convert values "incorrectly". For example:

>>> s = pd.Series([1, 2, -7])
>>> s
0    1
1    2
2   -7
dtype: int64

These are small integers, so how about converting to an unsigned 8-bit type to save memory?

>>> s.astype(np.uint8)
0      1
1      2
2    249
dtype: uint8

The conversion worked, but the -7 was wrapped round to become 249 (i.e. 28 - 7)!

Trying to downcast using pd.to_numeric(s, downcast="unsigned") instead could help prevent this error.


3. infer_objects()

Version 0.21.0 of pandas introduced the method infer_objects() for converting columns of a DataFrame that have an object datatype to a more specific type (soft conversions).

For example, here"s a DataFrame with two columns of object type. One holds actual integers and the other holds strings representing integers:

>>> df = pd.DataFrame({"a": [7, 1, 5], "b": ["3","2","1"]}, dtype="object")
>>> df.dtypes
a    object
b    object
dtype: object

Using infer_objects(), you can change the type of column "a" to int64:

>>> df = df.infer_objects()
>>> df.dtypes
a     int64
b    object
dtype: object

Column "b" has been left alone since its values were strings, not integers. If you wanted to try and force the conversion of both columns to an integer type, you could use df.astype(int) instead.


4. convert_dtypes()

Version 1.0 and above includes a method convert_dtypes() to convert Series and DataFrame columns to the best possible dtype that supports the pd.NA missing value.

Here "best possible" means the type most suited to hold the values. For example, this a pandas integer type if all of the values are integers (or missing values): an object column of Python integer objects is converted to Int64, a column of NumPy int32 values will become the pandas dtype Int32.

With our object DataFrame df, we get the following result:

>>> df.convert_dtypes().dtypes                                             
a     Int64
b    string
dtype: object

Since column "a" held integer values, it was converted to the Int64 type (which is capable of holding missing values, unlike int64).

Column "b" contained string objects, so was changed to pandas" string dtype.

By default, this method will infer the type from object values in each column. We can change this by passing infer_objects=False:

>>> df.convert_dtypes(infer_objects=False).dtypes                          
a    object
b    string
dtype: object

Now column "a" remained an object column: pandas knows it can be described as an "integer" column (internally it ran infer_dtype) but didn"t infer exactly what dtype of integer it should have so did not convert it. Column "b" was again converted to "string" dtype as it was recognised as holding "string" values.

Answer #4

Since this question was asked in 2010, there has been real simplification in how to do simple multithreading with Python with map and pool.

The code below comes from an article/blog post that you should definitely check out (no affiliation) - Parallelism in one line: A Better Model for Day to Day Threading Tasks. I"ll summarize below - it ends up being just a few lines of code:

from multiprocessing.dummy import Pool as ThreadPool
pool = ThreadPool(4)
results = pool.map(my_function, my_array)

Which is the multithreaded version of:

results = []
for item in my_array:
    results.append(my_function(item))

Description

Map is a cool little function, and the key to easily injecting parallelism into your Python code. For those unfamiliar, map is something lifted from functional languages like Lisp. It is a function which maps another function over a sequence.

Map handles the iteration over the sequence for us, applies the function, and stores all of the results in a handy list at the end.

Enter image description here


Implementation

Parallel versions of the map function are provided by two libraries:multiprocessing, and also its little known, but equally fantastic step child:multiprocessing.dummy.

multiprocessing.dummy is exactly the same as multiprocessing module, but uses threads instead (an important distinction - use multiple processes for CPU-intensive tasks; threads for (and during) I/O):

multiprocessing.dummy replicates the API of multiprocessing, but is no more than a wrapper around the threading module.

import urllib2
from multiprocessing.dummy import Pool as ThreadPool

urls = [
  "http://www.python.org",
  "http://www.python.org/about/",
  "http://www.onlamp.com/pub/a/python/2003/04/17/metaclasses.html",
  "http://www.python.org/doc/",
  "http://www.python.org/download/",
  "http://www.python.org/getit/",
  "http://www.python.org/community/",
  "https://wiki.python.org/moin/",
]

# Make the Pool of workers
pool = ThreadPool(4)

# Open the URLs in their own threads
# and return the results
results = pool.map(urllib2.urlopen, urls)

# Close the pool and wait for the work to finish
pool.close()
pool.join()

And the timing results:

Single thread:   14.4 seconds
       4 Pool:   3.1 seconds
       8 Pool:   1.4 seconds
      13 Pool:   1.3 seconds

Passing multiple arguments (works like this only in Python 3.3 and later):

To pass multiple arrays:

results = pool.starmap(function, zip(list_a, list_b))

Or to pass a constant and an array:

results = pool.starmap(function, zip(itertools.repeat(constant), list_a))

If you are using an earlier version of Python, you can pass multiple arguments via this workaround).

(Thanks to user136036 for the helpful comment.)

Answer #5

How to iterate over rows in a DataFrame in Pandas?

Answer: DON"T*!

Iteration in Pandas is an anti-pattern and is something you should only do when you have exhausted every other option. You should not use any function with "iter" in its name for more than a few thousand rows or you will have to get used to a lot of waiting.

Do you want to print a DataFrame? Use DataFrame.to_string().

Do you want to compute something? In that case, search for methods in this order (list modified from here):

  1. Vectorization
  2. Cython routines
  3. List Comprehensions (vanilla for loop)
  4. DataFrame.apply(): i)  Reductions that can be performed in Cython, ii) Iteration in Python space
  5. DataFrame.itertuples() and iteritems()
  6. DataFrame.iterrows()

iterrows and itertuples (both receiving many votes in answers to this question) should be used in very rare circumstances, such as generating row objects/nametuples for sequential processing, which is really the only thing these functions are useful for.

Appeal to Authority

The documentation page on iteration has a huge red warning box that says:

Iterating through pandas objects is generally slow. In many cases, iterating manually over the rows is not needed [...].

* It"s actually a little more complicated than "don"t". df.iterrows() is the correct answer to this question, but "vectorize your ops" is the better one. I will concede that there are circumstances where iteration cannot be avoided (for example, some operations where the result depends on the value computed for the previous row). However, it takes some familiarity with the library to know when. If you"re not sure whether you need an iterative solution, you probably don"t. PS: To know more about my rationale for writing this answer, skip to the very bottom.


Faster than Looping: Vectorization, Cython

A good number of basic operations and computations are "vectorised" by pandas (either through NumPy, or through Cythonized functions). This includes arithmetic, comparisons, (most) reductions, reshaping (such as pivoting), joins, and groupby operations. Look through the documentation on Essential Basic Functionality to find a suitable vectorised method for your problem.

If none exists, feel free to write your own using custom Cython extensions.


Next Best Thing: List Comprehensions*

List comprehensions should be your next port of call if 1) there is no vectorized solution available, 2) performance is important, but not important enough to go through the hassle of cythonizing your code, and 3) you"re trying to perform elementwise transformation on your code. There is a good amount of evidence to suggest that list comprehensions are sufficiently fast (and even sometimes faster) for many common Pandas tasks.

The formula is simple,

# Iterating over one column - `f` is some function that processes your data
result = [f(x) for x in df["col"]]
# Iterating over two columns, use `zip`
result = [f(x, y) for x, y in zip(df["col1"], df["col2"])]
# Iterating over multiple columns - same data type
result = [f(row[0], ..., row[n]) for row in df[["col1", ...,"coln"]].to_numpy()]
# Iterating over multiple columns - differing data type
result = [f(row[0], ..., row[n]) for row in zip(df["col1"], ..., df["coln"])]

If you can encapsulate your business logic into a function, you can use a list comprehension that calls it. You can make arbitrarily complex things work through the simplicity and speed of raw Python code.

Caveats

List comprehensions assume that your data is easy to work with - what that means is your data types are consistent and you don"t have NaNs, but this cannot always be guaranteed.

  1. The first one is more obvious, but when dealing with NaNs, prefer in-built pandas methods if they exist (because they have much better corner-case handling logic), or ensure your business logic includes appropriate NaN handling logic.
  2. When dealing with mixed data types you should iterate over zip(df["A"], df["B"], ...) instead of df[["A", "B"]].to_numpy() as the latter implicitly upcasts data to the most common type. As an example if A is numeric and B is string, to_numpy() will cast the entire array to string, which may not be what you want. Fortunately zipping your columns together is the most straightforward workaround to this.

*Your mileage may vary for the reasons outlined in the Caveats section above.


An Obvious Example

Let"s demonstrate the difference with a simple example of adding two pandas columns A + B. This is a vectorizable operaton, so it will be easy to contrast the performance of the methods discussed above.

Benchmarking code, for your reference. The line at the bottom measures a function written in numpandas, a style of Pandas that mixes heavily with NumPy to squeeze out maximum performance. Writing numpandas code should be avoided unless you know what you"re doing. Stick to the API where you can (i.e., prefer vec over vec_numpy).

I should mention, however, that it isn"t always this cut and dry. Sometimes the answer to "what is the best method for an operation" is "it depends on your data". My advice is to test out different approaches on your data before settling on one.


Further Reading

* Pandas string methods are "vectorized" in the sense that they are specified on the series but operate on each element. The underlying mechanisms are still iterative, because string operations are inherently hard to vectorize.


Why I Wrote this Answer

A common trend I notice from new users is to ask questions of the form "How can I iterate over my df to do X?". Showing code that calls iterrows() while doing something inside a for loop. Here is why. A new user to the library who has not been introduced to the concept of vectorization will likely envision the code that solves their problem as iterating over their data to do something. Not knowing how to iterate over a DataFrame, the first thing they do is Google it and end up here, at this question. They then see the accepted answer telling them how to, and they close their eyes and run this code without ever first questioning if iteration is not the right thing to do.

The aim of this answer is to help new users understand that iteration is not necessarily the solution to every problem, and that better, faster and more idiomatic solutions could exist, and that it is worth investing time in exploring them. I"m not trying to start a war of iteration vs. vectorization, but I want new users to be informed when developing solutions to their problems with this library.

Answer #6

In Python, what is the purpose of __slots__ and what are the cases one should avoid this?

TLDR:

The special attribute __slots__ allows you to explicitly state which instance attributes you expect your object instances to have, with the expected results:

  1. faster attribute access.
  2. space savings in memory.

The space savings is from

  1. Storing value references in slots instead of __dict__.
  2. Denying __dict__ and __weakref__ creation if parent classes deny them and you declare __slots__.

Quick Caveats

Small caveat, you should only declare a particular slot one time in an inheritance tree. For example:

class Base:
    __slots__ = "foo", "bar"

class Right(Base):
    __slots__ = "baz", 

class Wrong(Base):
    __slots__ = "foo", "bar", "baz"        # redundant foo and bar

Python doesn"t object when you get this wrong (it probably should), problems might not otherwise manifest, but your objects will take up more space than they otherwise should. Python 3.8:

>>> from sys import getsizeof
>>> getsizeof(Right()), getsizeof(Wrong())
(56, 72)

This is because the Base"s slot descriptor has a slot separate from the Wrong"s. This shouldn"t usually come up, but it could:

>>> w = Wrong()
>>> w.foo = "foo"
>>> Base.foo.__get__(w)
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "<stdin>", line 1, in <module>
AttributeError: foo
>>> Wrong.foo.__get__(w)
"foo"

The biggest caveat is for multiple inheritance - multiple "parent classes with nonempty slots" cannot be combined.

To accommodate this restriction, follow best practices: Factor out all but one or all parents" abstraction which their concrete class respectively and your new concrete class collectively will inherit from - giving the abstraction(s) empty slots (just like abstract base classes in the standard library).

See section on multiple inheritance below for an example.

Requirements:

  • To have attributes named in __slots__ to actually be stored in slots instead of a __dict__, a class must inherit from object (automatic in Python 3, but must be explicit in Python 2).

  • To prevent the creation of a __dict__, you must inherit from object and all classes in the inheritance must declare __slots__ and none of them can have a "__dict__" entry.

There are a lot of details if you wish to keep reading.

Why use __slots__: Faster attribute access.

The creator of Python, Guido van Rossum, states that he actually created __slots__ for faster attribute access.

It is trivial to demonstrate measurably significant faster access:

import timeit

class Foo(object): __slots__ = "foo",

class Bar(object): pass

slotted = Foo()
not_slotted = Bar()

def get_set_delete_fn(obj):
    def get_set_delete():
        obj.foo = "foo"
        obj.foo
        del obj.foo
    return get_set_delete

and

>>> min(timeit.repeat(get_set_delete_fn(slotted)))
0.2846834529991611
>>> min(timeit.repeat(get_set_delete_fn(not_slotted)))
0.3664822799983085

The slotted access is almost 30% faster in Python 3.5 on Ubuntu.

>>> 0.3664822799983085 / 0.2846834529991611
1.2873325658284342

In Python 2 on Windows I have measured it about 15% faster.

Why use __slots__: Memory Savings

Another purpose of __slots__ is to reduce the space in memory that each object instance takes up.

My own contribution to the documentation clearly states the reasons behind this:

The space saved over using __dict__ can be significant.

SQLAlchemy attributes a lot of memory savings to __slots__.

To verify this, using the Anaconda distribution of Python 2.7 on Ubuntu Linux, with guppy.hpy (aka heapy) and sys.getsizeof, the size of a class instance without __slots__ declared, and nothing else, is 64 bytes. That does not include the __dict__. Thank you Python for lazy evaluation again, the __dict__ is apparently not called into existence until it is referenced, but classes without data are usually useless. When called into existence, the __dict__ attribute is a minimum of 280 bytes additionally.

In contrast, a class instance with __slots__ declared to be () (no data) is only 16 bytes, and 56 total bytes with one item in slots, 64 with two.

For 64 bit Python, I illustrate the memory consumption in bytes in Python 2.7 and 3.6, for __slots__ and __dict__ (no slots defined) for each point where the dict grows in 3.6 (except for 0, 1, and 2 attributes):

       Python 2.7             Python 3.6
attrs  __slots__  __dict__*   __slots__  __dict__* | *(no slots defined)
none   16         56 + 272†   16         56 + 112† | †if __dict__ referenced
one    48         56 + 272    48         56 + 112
two    56         56 + 272    56         56 + 112
six    88         56 + 1040   88         56 + 152
11     128        56 + 1040   128        56 + 240
22     216        56 + 3344   216        56 + 408     
43     384        56 + 3344   384        56 + 752

So, in spite of smaller dicts in Python 3, we see how nicely __slots__ scale for instances to save us memory, and that is a major reason you would want to use __slots__.

Just for completeness of my notes, note that there is a one-time cost per slot in the class"s namespace of 64 bytes in Python 2, and 72 bytes in Python 3, because slots use data descriptors like properties, called "members".

>>> Foo.foo
<member "foo" of "Foo" objects>
>>> type(Foo.foo)
<class "member_descriptor">
>>> getsizeof(Foo.foo)
72

Demonstration of __slots__:

To deny the creation of a __dict__, you must subclass object. Everything subclasses object in Python 3, but in Python 2 you had to be explicit:

class Base(object): 
    __slots__ = ()

now:

>>> b = Base()
>>> b.a = "a"
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "<pyshell#38>", line 1, in <module>
    b.a = "a"
AttributeError: "Base" object has no attribute "a"

Or subclass another class that defines __slots__

class Child(Base):
    __slots__ = ("a",)

and now:

c = Child()
c.a = "a"

but:

>>> c.b = "b"
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "<pyshell#42>", line 1, in <module>
    c.b = "b"
AttributeError: "Child" object has no attribute "b"

To allow __dict__ creation while subclassing slotted objects, just add "__dict__" to the __slots__ (note that slots are ordered, and you shouldn"t repeat slots that are already in parent classes):

class SlottedWithDict(Child): 
    __slots__ = ("__dict__", "b")

swd = SlottedWithDict()
swd.a = "a"
swd.b = "b"
swd.c = "c"

and

>>> swd.__dict__
{"c": "c"}

Or you don"t even need to declare __slots__ in your subclass, and you will still use slots from the parents, but not restrict the creation of a __dict__:

class NoSlots(Child): pass
ns = NoSlots()
ns.a = "a"
ns.b = "b"

And:

>>> ns.__dict__
{"b": "b"}

However, __slots__ may cause problems for multiple inheritance:

class BaseA(object): 
    __slots__ = ("a",)

class BaseB(object): 
    __slots__ = ("b",)

Because creating a child class from parents with both non-empty slots fails:

>>> class Child(BaseA, BaseB): __slots__ = ()
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "<pyshell#68>", line 1, in <module>
    class Child(BaseA, BaseB): __slots__ = ()
TypeError: Error when calling the metaclass bases
    multiple bases have instance lay-out conflict

If you run into this problem, You could just remove __slots__ from the parents, or if you have control of the parents, give them empty slots, or refactor to abstractions:

from abc import ABC

class AbstractA(ABC):
    __slots__ = ()

class BaseA(AbstractA): 
    __slots__ = ("a",)

class AbstractB(ABC):
    __slots__ = ()

class BaseB(AbstractB): 
    __slots__ = ("b",)

class Child(AbstractA, AbstractB): 
    __slots__ = ("a", "b")

c = Child() # no problem!

Add "__dict__" to __slots__ to get dynamic assignment:

class Foo(object):
    __slots__ = "bar", "baz", "__dict__"

and now:

>>> foo = Foo()
>>> foo.boink = "boink"

So with "__dict__" in slots we lose some of the size benefits with the upside of having dynamic assignment and still having slots for the names we do expect.

When you inherit from an object that isn"t slotted, you get the same sort of semantics when you use __slots__ - names that are in __slots__ point to slotted values, while any other values are put in the instance"s __dict__.

Avoiding __slots__ because you want to be able to add attributes on the fly is actually not a good reason - just add "__dict__" to your __slots__ if this is required.

You can similarly add __weakref__ to __slots__ explicitly if you need that feature.

Set to empty tuple when subclassing a namedtuple:

The namedtuple builtin make immutable instances that are very lightweight (essentially, the size of tuples) but to get the benefits, you need to do it yourself if you subclass them:

from collections import namedtuple
class MyNT(namedtuple("MyNT", "bar baz")):
    """MyNT is an immutable and lightweight object"""
    __slots__ = ()

usage:

>>> nt = MyNT("bar", "baz")
>>> nt.bar
"bar"
>>> nt.baz
"baz"

And trying to assign an unexpected attribute raises an AttributeError because we have prevented the creation of __dict__:

>>> nt.quux = "quux"
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "<stdin>", line 1, in <module>
AttributeError: "MyNT" object has no attribute "quux"

You can allow __dict__ creation by leaving off __slots__ = (), but you can"t use non-empty __slots__ with subtypes of tuple.

Biggest Caveat: Multiple inheritance

Even when non-empty slots are the same for multiple parents, they cannot be used together:

class Foo(object): 
    __slots__ = "foo", "bar"
class Bar(object):
    __slots__ = "foo", "bar" # alas, would work if empty, i.e. ()

>>> class Baz(Foo, Bar): pass
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "<stdin>", line 1, in <module>
TypeError: Error when calling the metaclass bases
    multiple bases have instance lay-out conflict

Using an empty __slots__ in the parent seems to provide the most flexibility, allowing the child to choose to prevent or allow (by adding "__dict__" to get dynamic assignment, see section above) the creation of a __dict__:

class Foo(object): __slots__ = ()
class Bar(object): __slots__ = ()
class Baz(Foo, Bar): __slots__ = ("foo", "bar")
b = Baz()
b.foo, b.bar = "foo", "bar"

You don"t have to have slots - so if you add them, and remove them later, it shouldn"t cause any problems.

Going out on a limb here: If you"re composing mixins or using abstract base classes, which aren"t intended to be instantiated, an empty __slots__ in those parents seems to be the best way to go in terms of flexibility for subclassers.

To demonstrate, first, let"s create a class with code we"d like to use under multiple inheritance

class AbstractBase:
    __slots__ = ()
    def __init__(self, a, b):
        self.a = a
        self.b = b
    def __repr__(self):
        return f"{type(self).__name__}({repr(self.a)}, {repr(self.b)})"

We could use the above directly by inheriting and declaring the expected slots:

class Foo(AbstractBase):
    __slots__ = "a", "b"

But we don"t care about that, that"s trivial single inheritance, we need another class we might also inherit from, maybe with a noisy attribute:

class AbstractBaseC:
    __slots__ = ()
    @property
    def c(self):
        print("getting c!")
        return self._c
    @c.setter
    def c(self, arg):
        print("setting c!")
        self._c = arg

Now if both bases had nonempty slots, we couldn"t do the below. (In fact, if we wanted, we could have given AbstractBase nonempty slots a and b, and left them out of the below declaration - leaving them in would be wrong):

class Concretion(AbstractBase, AbstractBaseC):
    __slots__ = "a b _c".split()

And now we have functionality from both via multiple inheritance, and can still deny __dict__ and __weakref__ instantiation:

>>> c = Concretion("a", "b")
>>> c.c = c
setting c!
>>> c.c
getting c!
Concretion("a", "b")
>>> c.d = "d"
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "<stdin>", line 1, in <module>
AttributeError: "Concretion" object has no attribute "d"

Other cases to avoid slots:

  • Avoid them when you want to perform __class__ assignment with another class that doesn"t have them (and you can"t add them) unless the slot layouts are identical. (I am very interested in learning who is doing this and why.)
  • Avoid them if you want to subclass variable length builtins like long, tuple, or str, and you want to add attributes to them.
  • Avoid them if you insist on providing default values via class attributes for instance variables.

You may be able to tease out further caveats from the rest of the __slots__ documentation (the 3.7 dev docs are the most current), which I have made significant recent contributions to.

Critiques of other answers

The current top answers cite outdated information and are quite hand-wavy and miss the mark in some important ways.

Do not "only use __slots__ when instantiating lots of objects"

I quote:

"You would want to use __slots__ if you are going to instantiate a lot (hundreds, thousands) of objects of the same class."

Abstract Base Classes, for example, from the collections module, are not instantiated, yet __slots__ are declared for them.

Why?

If a user wishes to deny __dict__ or __weakref__ creation, those things must not be available in the parent classes.

__slots__ contributes to reusability when creating interfaces or mixins.

It is true that many Python users aren"t writing for reusability, but when you are, having the option to deny unnecessary space usage is valuable.

__slots__ doesn"t break pickling

When pickling a slotted object, you may find it complains with a misleading TypeError:

>>> pickle.loads(pickle.dumps(f))
TypeError: a class that defines __slots__ without defining __getstate__ cannot be pickled

This is actually incorrect. This message comes from the oldest protocol, which is the default. You can select the latest protocol with the -1 argument. In Python 2.7 this would be 2 (which was introduced in 2.3), and in 3.6 it is 4.

>>> pickle.loads(pickle.dumps(f, -1))
<__main__.Foo object at 0x1129C770>

in Python 2.7:

>>> pickle.loads(pickle.dumps(f, 2))
<__main__.Foo object at 0x1129C770>

in Python 3.6

>>> pickle.loads(pickle.dumps(f, 4))
<__main__.Foo object at 0x1129C770>

So I would keep this in mind, as it is a solved problem.

Critique of the (until Oct 2, 2016) accepted answer

The first paragraph is half short explanation, half predictive. Here"s the only part that actually answers the question

The proper use of __slots__ is to save space in objects. Instead of having a dynamic dict that allows adding attributes to objects at anytime, there is a static structure which does not allow additions after creation. This saves the overhead of one dict for every object that uses slots

The second half is wishful thinking, and off the mark:

While this is sometimes a useful optimization, it would be completely unnecessary if the Python interpreter was dynamic enough so that it would only require the dict when there actually were additions to the object.

Python actually does something similar to this, only creating the __dict__ when it is accessed, but creating lots of objects with no data is fairly ridiculous.

The second paragraph oversimplifies and misses actual reasons to avoid __slots__. The below is not a real reason to avoid slots (for actual reasons, see the rest of my answer above.):

They change the behavior of the objects that have slots in a way that can be abused by control freaks and static typing weenies.

It then goes on to discuss other ways of accomplishing that perverse goal with Python, not discussing anything to do with __slots__.

The third paragraph is more wishful thinking. Together it is mostly off-the-mark content that the answerer didn"t even author and contributes to ammunition for critics of the site.

Memory usage evidence

Create some normal objects and slotted objects:

>>> class Foo(object): pass
>>> class Bar(object): __slots__ = ()

Instantiate a million of them:

>>> foos = [Foo() for f in xrange(1000000)]
>>> bars = [Bar() for b in xrange(1000000)]

Inspect with guppy.hpy().heap():

>>> guppy.hpy().heap()
Partition of a set of 2028259 objects. Total size = 99763360 bytes.
 Index  Count   %     Size   % Cumulative  % Kind (class / dict of class)
     0 1000000  49 64000000  64  64000000  64 __main__.Foo
     1     169   0 16281480  16  80281480  80 list
     2 1000000  49 16000000  16  96281480  97 __main__.Bar
     3   12284   1   987472   1  97268952  97 str
...

Access the regular objects and their __dict__ and inspect again:

>>> for f in foos:
...     f.__dict__
>>> guppy.hpy().heap()
Partition of a set of 3028258 objects. Total size = 379763480 bytes.
 Index  Count   %      Size    % Cumulative  % Kind (class / dict of class)
     0 1000000  33 280000000  74 280000000  74 dict of __main__.Foo
     1 1000000  33  64000000  17 344000000  91 __main__.Foo
     2     169   0  16281480   4 360281480  95 list
     3 1000000  33  16000000   4 376281480  99 __main__.Bar
     4   12284   0    987472   0 377268952  99 str
...

This is consistent with the history of Python, from Unifying types and classes in Python 2.2

If you subclass a built-in type, extra space is automatically added to the instances to accomodate __dict__ and __weakrefs__. (The __dict__ is not initialized until you use it though, so you shouldn"t worry about the space occupied by an empty dictionary for each instance you create.) If you don"t need this extra space, you can add the phrase "__slots__ = []" to your class.

Answer #7

os.listdir() - list in the current directory

With listdir in os module you get the files and the folders in the current dir

 import os
 arr = os.listdir()
 print(arr)
 
 >>> ["$RECYCLE.BIN", "work.txt", "3ebooks.txt", "documents"]

Looking in a directory

arr = os.listdir("c:\files")

glob from glob

with glob you can specify a type of file to list like this

import glob

txtfiles = []
for file in glob.glob("*.txt"):
    txtfiles.append(file)

glob in a list comprehension

mylist = [f for f in glob.glob("*.txt")]

get the full path of only files in the current directory

import os
from os import listdir
from os.path import isfile, join

cwd = os.getcwd()
onlyfiles = [os.path.join(cwd, f) for f in os.listdir(cwd) if 
os.path.isfile(os.path.join(cwd, f))]
print(onlyfiles) 

["G:\getfilesname\getfilesname.py", "G:\getfilesname\example.txt"]

Getting the full path name with os.path.abspath

You get the full path in return

 import os
 files_path = [os.path.abspath(x) for x in os.listdir()]
 print(files_path)
 
 ["F:\documentiapplications.txt", "F:\documenticollections.txt"]

Walk: going through sub directories

os.walk returns the root, the directories list and the files list, that is why I unpacked them in r, d, f in the for loop; it, then, looks for other files and directories in the subfolders of the root and so on until there are no subfolders.

import os

# Getting the current work directory (cwd)
thisdir = os.getcwd()

# r=root, d=directories, f = files
for r, d, f in os.walk(thisdir):
    for file in f:
        if file.endswith(".docx"):
            print(os.path.join(r, file))

os.listdir(): get files in the current directory (Python 2)

In Python 2, if you want the list of the files in the current directory, you have to give the argument as "." or os.getcwd() in the os.listdir method.

 import os
 arr = os.listdir(".")
 print(arr)
 
 >>> ["$RECYCLE.BIN", "work.txt", "3ebooks.txt", "documents"]

To go up in the directory tree

# Method 1
x = os.listdir("..")

# Method 2
x= os.listdir("/")

Get files: os.listdir() in a particular directory (Python 2 and 3)

 import os
 arr = os.listdir("F:\python")
 print(arr)
 
 >>> ["$RECYCLE.BIN", "work.txt", "3ebooks.txt", "documents"]

Get files of a particular subdirectory with os.listdir()

import os

x = os.listdir("./content")

os.walk(".") - current directory

 import os
 arr = next(os.walk("."))[2]
 print(arr)
 
 >>> ["5bs_Turismo1.pdf", "5bs_Turismo1.pptx", "esperienza.txt"]

next(os.walk(".")) and os.path.join("dir", "file")

 import os
 arr = []
 for d,r,f in next(os.walk("F:\_python")):
     for file in f:
         arr.append(os.path.join(r,file))

 for f in arr:
     print(files)

>>> F:\_python\dict_class.py
>>> F:\_python\programmi.txt

next(os.walk("F:\") - get the full path - list comprehension

 [os.path.join(r,file) for r,d,f in next(os.walk("F:\_python")) for file in f]
 
 >>> ["F:\_python\dict_class.py", "F:\_python\programmi.txt"]

os.walk - get full path - all files in sub dirs**

x = [os.path.join(r,file) for r,d,f in os.walk("F:\_python") for file in f]
print(x)

>>> ["F:\_python\dict.py", "F:\_python\progr.txt", "F:\_python\readl.py"]

os.listdir() - get only txt files

 arr_txt = [x for x in os.listdir() if x.endswith(".txt")]
 print(arr_txt)
 
 >>> ["work.txt", "3ebooks.txt"]

Using glob to get the full path of the files

If I should need the absolute path of the files:

from path import path
from glob import glob
x = [path(f).abspath() for f in glob("F:\*.txt")]
for f in x:
    print(f)

>>> F:acquistionline.txt
>>> F:acquisti_2018.txt
>>> F:ootstrap_jquery_ecc.txt

Using os.path.isfile to avoid directories in the list

import os.path
listOfFiles = [f for f in os.listdir() if os.path.isfile(f)]
print(listOfFiles)

>>> ["a simple game.py", "data.txt", "decorator.py"]

Using pathlib from Python 3.4

import pathlib

flist = []
for p in pathlib.Path(".").iterdir():
    if p.is_file():
        print(p)
        flist.append(p)

 >>> error.PNG
 >>> exemaker.bat
 >>> guiprova.mp3
 >>> setup.py
 >>> speak_gui2.py
 >>> thumb.PNG

With list comprehension:

flist = [p for p in pathlib.Path(".").iterdir() if p.is_file()]

Alternatively, use pathlib.Path() instead of pathlib.Path(".")

Use glob method in pathlib.Path()

import pathlib

py = pathlib.Path().glob("*.py")
for file in py:
    print(file)

>>> stack_overflow_list.py
>>> stack_overflow_list_tkinter.py

Get all and only files with os.walk

import os
x = [i[2] for i in os.walk(".")]
y=[]
for t in x:
    for f in t:
        y.append(f)
print(y)

>>> ["append_to_list.py", "data.txt", "data1.txt", "data2.txt", "data_180617", "os_walk.py", "READ2.py", "read_data.py", "somma_defaltdic.py", "substitute_words.py", "sum_data.py", "data.txt", "data1.txt", "data_180617"]

Get only files with next and walk in a directory

 import os
 x = next(os.walk("F://python"))[2]
 print(x)
 
 >>> ["calculator.bat","calculator.py"]

Get only directories with next and walk in a directory

 import os
 next(os.walk("F://python"))[1] # for the current dir use (".")
 
 >>> ["python3","others"]

Get all the subdir names with walk

for r,d,f in os.walk("F:\_python"):
    for dirs in d:
        print(dirs)

>>> .vscode
>>> pyexcel
>>> pyschool.py
>>> subtitles
>>> _metaprogramming
>>> .ipynb_checkpoints

os.scandir() from Python 3.5 and greater

import os
x = [f.name for f in os.scandir() if f.is_file()]
print(x)

>>> ["calculator.bat","calculator.py"]

# Another example with scandir (a little variation from docs.python.org)
# This one is more efficient than os.listdir.
# In this case, it shows the files only in the current directory
# where the script is executed.

import os
with os.scandir() as i:
    for entry in i:
        if entry.is_file():
            print(entry.name)

>>> ebookmaker.py
>>> error.PNG
>>> exemaker.bat
>>> guiprova.mp3
>>> setup.py
>>> speakgui4.py
>>> speak_gui2.py
>>> speak_gui3.py
>>> thumb.PNG

Examples:

Ex. 1: How many files are there in the subdirectories?

In this example, we look for the number of files that are included in all the directory and its subdirectories.

import os

def count(dir, counter=0):
    "returns number of files in dir and subdirs"
    for pack in os.walk(dir):
        for f in pack[2]:
            counter += 1
    return dir + " : " + str(counter) + "files"

print(count("F:\python"))

>>> "F:\python" : 12057 files"

Ex.2: How to copy all files from a directory to another?

A script to make order in your computer finding all files of a type (default: pptx) and copying them in a new folder.

import os
import shutil
from path import path

destination = "F:\file_copied"
# os.makedirs(destination)

def copyfile(dir, filetype="pptx", counter=0):
    "Searches for pptx (or other - pptx is the default) files and copies them"
    for pack in os.walk(dir):
        for f in pack[2]:
            if f.endswith(filetype):
                fullpath = pack[0] + "\" + f
                print(fullpath)
                shutil.copy(fullpath, destination)
                counter += 1
    if counter > 0:
        print("-" * 30)
        print("	==> Found in: `" + dir + "` : " + str(counter) + " files
")

for dir in os.listdir():
    "searches for folders that starts with `_`"
    if dir[0] == "_":
        # copyfile(dir, filetype="pdf")
        copyfile(dir, filetype="txt")


>>> _compiti18Compito Contabilità 1conti.txt
>>> _compiti18Compito Contabilità 1modula4.txt
>>> _compiti18Compito Contabilità 1moduloa4.txt
>>> ------------------------
>>> ==> Found in: `_compiti18` : 3 files

Ex. 3: How to get all the files in a txt file

In case you want to create a txt file with all the file names:

import os
mylist = ""
with open("filelist.txt", "w", encoding="utf-8") as file:
    for eachfile in os.listdir():
        mylist += eachfile + "
"
    file.write(mylist)

Example: txt with all the files of an hard drive

"""
We are going to save a txt file with all the files in your directory.
We will use the function walk()
"""

import os

# see all the methods of os
# print(*dir(os), sep=", ")
listafile = []
percorso = []
with open("lista_file.txt", "w", encoding="utf-8") as testo:
    for root, dirs, files in os.walk("D:\"):
        for file in files:
            listafile.append(file)
            percorso.append(root + "\" + file)
            testo.write(file + "
")
listafile.sort()
print("N. of files", len(listafile))
with open("lista_file_ordinata.txt", "w", encoding="utf-8") as testo_ordinato:
    for file in listafile:
        testo_ordinato.write(file + "
")

with open("percorso.txt", "w", encoding="utf-8") as file_percorso:
    for file in percorso:
        file_percorso.write(file + "
")

os.system("lista_file.txt")
os.system("lista_file_ordinata.txt")
os.system("percorso.txt")

All the file of C: in one text file

This is a shorter version of the previous code. Change the folder where to start finding the files if you need to start from another position. This code generate a 50 mb on text file on my computer with something less then 500.000 lines with files with the complete path.

import os

with open("file.txt", "w", encoding="utf-8") as filewrite:
    for r, d, f in os.walk("C:\"):
        for file in f:
            filewrite.write(f"{r + file}
")

How to write a file with all paths in a folder of a type

With this function you can create a txt file that will have the name of a type of file that you look for (ex. pngfile.txt) with all the full path of all the files of that type. It can be useful sometimes, I think.

import os

def searchfiles(extension=".ttf", folder="H:\"):
    "Create a txt file with all the file of a type"
    with open(extension[1:] + "file.txt", "w", encoding="utf-8") as filewrite:
        for r, d, f in os.walk(folder):
            for file in f:
                if file.endswith(extension):
                    filewrite.write(f"{r + file}
")

# looking for png file (fonts) in the hard disk H:
searchfiles(".png", "H:\")

>>> H:4bs_18Dolphins5.png
>>> H:4bs_18Dolphins6.png
>>> H:4bs_18Dolphins7.png
>>> H:5_18marketing htmlassetsimageslogo2.png
>>> H:7z001.png
>>> H:7z002.png

(New) Find all files and open them with tkinter GUI

I just wanted to add in this 2019 a little app to search for all files in a dir and be able to open them by doubleclicking on the name of the file in the list. enter image description here

import tkinter as tk
import os

def searchfiles(extension=".txt", folder="H:\"):
    "insert all files in the listbox"
    for r, d, f in os.walk(folder):
        for file in f:
            if file.endswith(extension):
                lb.insert(0, r + "\" + file)

def open_file():
    os.startfile(lb.get(lb.curselection()[0]))

root = tk.Tk()
root.geometry("400x400")
bt = tk.Button(root, text="Search", command=lambda:searchfiles(".png", "H:\"))
bt.pack()
lb = tk.Listbox(root)
lb.pack(fill="both", expand=1)
lb.bind("<Double-Button>", lambda x: open_file())
root.mainloop()

Answer #8

This is the behaviour to adopt when the referenced object is deleted. It is not specific to Django; this is an SQL standard. Although Django has its own implementation on top of SQL. (1)

There are seven possible actions to take when such event occurs:

  • CASCADE: When the referenced object is deleted, also delete the objects that have references to it (when you remove a blog post for instance, you might want to delete comments as well). SQL equivalent: CASCADE.
  • PROTECT: Forbid the deletion of the referenced object. To delete it you will have to delete all objects that reference it manually. SQL equivalent: RESTRICT.
  • RESTRICT: (introduced in Django 3.1) Similar behavior as PROTECT that matches SQL"s RESTRICT more accurately. (See django documentation example)
  • SET_NULL: Set the reference to NULL (requires the field to be nullable). For instance, when you delete a User, you might want to keep the comments he posted on blog posts, but say it was posted by an anonymous (or deleted) user. SQL equivalent: SET NULL.
  • SET_DEFAULT: Set the default value. SQL equivalent: SET DEFAULT.
  • SET(...): Set a given value. This one is not part of the SQL standard and is entirely handled by Django.
  • DO_NOTHING: Probably a very bad idea since this would create integrity issues in your database (referencing an object that actually doesn"t exist). SQL equivalent: NO ACTION. (2)

Source: Django documentation

See also the documentation of PostgreSQL for instance.

In most cases, CASCADE is the expected behaviour, but for every ForeignKey, you should always ask yourself what is the expected behaviour in this situation. PROTECT and SET_NULL are often useful. Setting CASCADE where it should not, can potentially delete all of your database in cascade, by simply deleting a single user.


Additional note to clarify cascade direction

It"s funny to notice that the direction of the CASCADE action is not clear to many people. Actually, it"s funny to notice that only the CASCADE action is not clear. I understand the cascade behavior might be confusing, however you must think that it is the same direction as any other action. Thus, if you feel that CASCADE direction is not clear to you, it actually means that on_delete behavior is not clear to you.

In your database, a foreign key is basically represented by an integer field which value is the primary key of the foreign object. Let"s say you have an entry comment_A, which has a foreign key to an entry article_B. If you delete the entry comment_A, everything is fine. article_B used to live without comment_A and don"t bother if it"s deleted. However, if you delete article_B, then comment_A panics! It never lived without article_B and needs it, and it"s part of its attributes (article=article_B, but what is article_B???). This is where on_delete steps in, to determine how to resolve this integrity error, either by saying:

  • "No! Please! Don"t! I can"t live without you!" (which is said PROTECT or RESTRICT in Django/SQL)
  • "All right, if I"m not yours, then I"m nobody"s" (which is said SET_NULL)
  • "Good bye world, I can"t live without article_B" and commit suicide (this is the CASCADE behavior).
  • "It"s OK, I"ve got spare lover, and I"ll reference article_C from now" (SET_DEFAULT, or even SET(...)).
  • "I can"t face reality, and I"ll keep calling your name even if that"s the only thing left to me!" (DO_NOTHING)

I hope it makes cascade direction clearer. :)


Footnotes

(1) Django has its own implementation on top of SQL. And, as mentioned by @JoeMjr2 in the comments below, Django will not create the SQL constraints. If you want the constraints to be ensured by your database (for instance, if your database is used by another application, or if you hang in the database console from time to time), you might want to set the related constraints manually yourself. There is an open ticket to add support for database-level on delete constrains in Django.

(2) Actually, there is one case where DO_NOTHING can be useful: If you want to skip Django"s implementation and implement the constraint yourself at the database-level.

Answer #9

Label vs. Location

The main distinction between the two methods is:

  • loc gets rows (and/or columns) with particular labels.

  • iloc gets rows (and/or columns) at integer locations.

To demonstrate, consider a series s of characters with a non-monotonic integer index:

>>> s = pd.Series(list("abcdef"), index=[49, 48, 47, 0, 1, 2]) 
49    a
48    b
47    c
0     d
1     e
2     f

>>> s.loc[0]    # value at index label 0
"d"

>>> s.iloc[0]   # value at index location 0
"a"

>>> s.loc[0:1]  # rows at index labels between 0 and 1 (inclusive)
0    d
1    e

>>> s.iloc[0:1] # rows at index location between 0 and 1 (exclusive)
49    a

Here are some of the differences/similarities between s.loc and s.iloc when passed various objects:

<object> description s.loc[<object>] s.iloc[<object>]
0 single item Value at index label 0 (the string "d") Value at index location 0 (the string "a")
0:1 slice Two rows (labels 0 and 1) One row (first row at location 0)
1:47 slice with out-of-bounds end Zero rows (empty Series) Five rows (location 1 onwards)
1:47:-1 slice with negative step three rows (labels 1 back to 47) Zero rows (empty Series)
[2, 0] integer list Two rows with given labels Two rows with given locations
s > "e" Bool series (indicating which values have the property) One row (containing "f") NotImplementedError
(s>"e").values Bool array One row (containing "f") Same as loc
999 int object not in index KeyError IndexError (out of bounds)
-1 int object not in index KeyError Returns last value in s
lambda x: x.index[3] callable applied to series (here returning 3rd item in index) s.loc[s.index[3]] s.iloc[s.index[3]]

loc"s label-querying capabilities extend well-beyond integer indexes and it"s worth highlighting a couple of additional examples.

Here"s a Series where the index contains string objects:

>>> s2 = pd.Series(s.index, index=s.values)
>>> s2
a    49
b    48
c    47
d     0
e     1
f     2

Since loc is label-based, it can fetch the first value in the Series using s2.loc["a"]. It can also slice with non-integer objects:

>>> s2.loc["c":"e"]  # all rows lying between "c" and "e" (inclusive)
c    47
d     0
e     1

For DateTime indexes, we don"t need to pass the exact date/time to fetch by label. For example:

>>> s3 = pd.Series(list("abcde"), pd.date_range("now", periods=5, freq="M")) 
>>> s3
2021-01-31 16:41:31.879768    a
2021-02-28 16:41:31.879768    b
2021-03-31 16:41:31.879768    c
2021-04-30 16:41:31.879768    d
2021-05-31 16:41:31.879768    e

Then to fetch the row(s) for March/April 2021 we only need:

>>> s3.loc["2021-03":"2021-04"]
2021-03-31 17:04:30.742316    c
2021-04-30 17:04:30.742316    d

Rows and Columns

loc and iloc work the same way with DataFrames as they do with Series. It"s useful to note that both methods can address columns and rows together.

When given a tuple, the first element is used to index the rows and, if it exists, the second element is used to index the columns.

Consider the DataFrame defined below:

>>> import numpy as np 
>>> df = pd.DataFrame(np.arange(25).reshape(5, 5),  
                      index=list("abcde"), 
                      columns=["x","y","z", 8, 9])
>>> df
    x   y   z   8   9
a   0   1   2   3   4
b   5   6   7   8   9
c  10  11  12  13  14
d  15  16  17  18  19
e  20  21  22  23  24

Then for example:

>>> df.loc["c": , :"z"]  # rows "c" and onwards AND columns up to "z"
    x   y   z
c  10  11  12
d  15  16  17
e  20  21  22

>>> df.iloc[:, 3]        # all rows, but only the column at index location 3
a     3
b     8
c    13
d    18
e    23

Sometimes we want to mix label and positional indexing methods for the rows and columns, somehow combining the capabilities of loc and iloc.

For example, consider the following DataFrame. How best to slice the rows up to and including "c" and take the first four columns?

>>> import numpy as np 
>>> df = pd.DataFrame(np.arange(25).reshape(5, 5),  
                      index=list("abcde"), 
                      columns=["x","y","z", 8, 9])
>>> df
    x   y   z   8   9
a   0   1   2   3   4
b   5   6   7   8   9
c  10  11  12  13  14
d  15  16  17  18  19
e  20  21  22  23  24

We can achieve this result using iloc and the help of another method:

>>> df.iloc[:df.index.get_loc("c") + 1, :4]
    x   y   z   8
a   0   1   2   3
b   5   6   7   8
c  10  11  12  13

get_loc() is an index method meaning "get the position of the label in this index". Note that since slicing with iloc is exclusive of its endpoint, we must add 1 to this value if we want row "c" as well.

Answer #10

Quick Answer:

The simplest way to get row counts per group is by calling .size(), which returns a Series:

df.groupby(["col1","col2"]).size()


Usually you want this result as a DataFrame (instead of a Series) so you can do:

df.groupby(["col1", "col2"]).size().reset_index(name="counts")


If you want to find out how to calculate the row counts and other statistics for each group continue reading below.


Detailed example:

Consider the following example dataframe:

In [2]: df
Out[2]: 
  col1 col2  col3  col4  col5  col6
0    A    B  0.20 -0.61 -0.49  1.49
1    A    B -1.53 -1.01 -0.39  1.82
2    A    B -0.44  0.27  0.72  0.11
3    A    B  0.28 -1.32  0.38  0.18
4    C    D  0.12  0.59  0.81  0.66
5    C    D -0.13 -1.65 -1.64  0.50
6    C    D -1.42 -0.11 -0.18 -0.44
7    E    F -0.00  1.42 -0.26  1.17
8    E    F  0.91 -0.47  1.35 -0.34
9    G    H  1.48 -0.63 -1.14  0.17

First let"s use .size() to get the row counts:

In [3]: df.groupby(["col1", "col2"]).size()
Out[3]: 
col1  col2
A     B       4
C     D       3
E     F       2
G     H       1
dtype: int64

Then let"s use .size().reset_index(name="counts") to get the row counts:

In [4]: df.groupby(["col1", "col2"]).size().reset_index(name="counts")
Out[4]: 
  col1 col2  counts
0    A    B       4
1    C    D       3
2    E    F       2
3    G    H       1


Including results for more statistics

When you want to calculate statistics on grouped data, it usually looks like this:

In [5]: (df
   ...: .groupby(["col1", "col2"])
   ...: .agg({
   ...:     "col3": ["mean", "count"], 
   ...:     "col4": ["median", "min", "count"]
   ...: }))
Out[5]: 
            col4                  col3      
          median   min count      mean count
col1 col2                                   
A    B    -0.810 -1.32     4 -0.372500     4
C    D    -0.110 -1.65     3 -0.476667     3
E    F     0.475 -0.47     2  0.455000     2
G    H    -0.630 -0.63     1  1.480000     1

The result above is a little annoying to deal with because of the nested column labels, and also because row counts are on a per column basis.

To gain more control over the output I usually split the statistics into individual aggregations that I then combine using join. It looks like this:

In [6]: gb = df.groupby(["col1", "col2"])
   ...: counts = gb.size().to_frame(name="counts")
   ...: (counts
   ...:  .join(gb.agg({"col3": "mean"}).rename(columns={"col3": "col3_mean"}))
   ...:  .join(gb.agg({"col4": "median"}).rename(columns={"col4": "col4_median"}))
   ...:  .join(gb.agg({"col4": "min"}).rename(columns={"col4": "col4_min"}))
   ...:  .reset_index()
   ...: )
   ...: 
Out[6]: 
  col1 col2  counts  col3_mean  col4_median  col4_min
0    A    B       4  -0.372500       -0.810     -1.32
1    C    D       3  -0.476667       -0.110     -1.65
2    E    F       2   0.455000        0.475     -0.47
3    G    H       1   1.480000       -0.630     -0.63



Footnotes

The code used to generate the test data is shown below:

In [1]: import numpy as np
   ...: import pandas as pd 
   ...: 
   ...: keys = np.array([
   ...:         ["A", "B"],
   ...:         ["A", "B"],
   ...:         ["A", "B"],
   ...:         ["A", "B"],
   ...:         ["C", "D"],
   ...:         ["C", "D"],
   ...:         ["C", "D"],
   ...:         ["E", "F"],
   ...:         ["E", "F"],
   ...:         ["G", "H"] 
   ...:         ])
   ...: 
   ...: df = pd.DataFrame(
   ...:     np.hstack([keys,np.random.randn(10,4).round(2)]), 
   ...:     columns = ["col1", "col2", "col3", "col4", "col5", "col6"]
   ...: )
   ...: 
   ...: df[["col3", "col4", "col5", "col6"]] = 
   ...:     df[["col3", "col4", "col5", "col6"]].astype(float)
   ...: 


Disclaimer:

If some of the columns that you are aggregating have null values, then you really want to be looking at the group row counts as an independent aggregation for each column. Otherwise you may be misled as to how many records are actually being used to calculate things like the mean because pandas will drop NaN entries in the mean calculation without telling you about it.

Python | Pandas Reverse splitting strings into two lists / columns using str.rsplit (): StackOverflow Questions

How do you split a list into evenly sized chunks?

Question by jespern

I have a list of arbitrary length, and I need to split it up into equal size chunks and operate on it. There are some obvious ways to do this, like keeping a counter and two lists, and when the second list fills up, add it to the first list and empty the second list for the next round of data, but this is potentially extremely expensive.

I was wondering if anyone had a good solution to this for lists of any length, e.g. using generators.

I was looking for something useful in itertools but I couldn"t find anything obviously useful. Might"ve missed it, though.

Related question: What is the most “pythonic” way to iterate over a list in chunks?

Split Strings into words with multiple word boundary delimiters

I think what I want to do is a fairly common task but I"ve found no reference on the web. I have text with punctuation, and I want a list of the words.

"Hey, you - what are you doing here!?"

should be

["hey", "you", "what", "are", "you", "doing", "here"]

But Python"s str.split() only works with one argument, so I have all words with the punctuation after I split with whitespace. Any ideas?

Split string with multiple delimiters in Python

I found some answers online, but I have no experience with regular expressions, which I believe is what is needed here.

I have a string that needs to be split by either a ";" or ", " That is, it has to be either a semicolon or a comma followed by a space. Individual commas without trailing spaces should be left untouched

Example string:

"b-staged divinylsiloxane-bis-benzocyclobutene [124221-30-3], mesitylene [000108-67-8]; polymerized 1,2-dihydro-2,2,4- trimethyl quinoline [026780-96-1]"

should be split into a list containing the following:

("b-staged divinylsiloxane-bis-benzocyclobutene [124221-30-3]" , "mesitylene [000108-67-8]", "polymerized 1,2-dihydro-2,2,4- trimethyl quinoline [026780-96-1]") 

How to split a string into a list?

I want my Python function to split a sentence (input) and store each word in a list. My current code splits the sentence, but does not store the words as a list. How do I do that?

def split_line(text):

    # split the text
    words = text.split()

    # for each word in the line:
    for word in words:

        # print the word
        print(words)

Split string on whitespace in Python

I"m looking for the Python equivalent of

String str = "many   fancy word 
hello    	hi";
String whiteSpaceRegex = "\s";
String[] words = str.split(whiteSpaceRegex);

["many", "fancy", "word", "hello", "hi"]

How to split a string into a list of characters in Python?

I"ve tried to look around the web for answers to splitting a string into a list of characters but I can"t seem to find a simple method.

str.split(//) does not seem to work like Ruby does. Is there a simple way of doing this without looping?

Split string every nth character?

Is it possible to split a string every nth character?

For example, suppose I have a string containing the following:

"1234567890"

How can I get it to look like this:

["12","34","56","78","90"]

Split by comma and strip whitespace in Python

I have some python code that splits on comma, but doesn"t strip the whitespace:

>>> string = "blah, lots  ,  of ,  spaces, here "
>>> mylist = string.split(",")
>>> print mylist
["blah", " lots  ", "  of ", "  spaces", " here "]

I would rather end up with whitespace removed like this:

["blah", "lots", "of", "spaces", "here"]

I am aware that I could loop through the list and strip() each item but, as this is Python, I"m guessing there"s a quicker, easier and more elegant way of doing it.

Splitting on first occurrence

What would be the best way to split a string on the first occurrence of a delimiter?

For example:

"123mango abcd mango kiwi peach"

splitting on the first mango to get:

"abcd mango kiwi peach"

Split a list based on a condition?

What"s the best way, both aesthetically and from a performance perspective, to split a list of items into multiple lists based on a conditional? The equivalent of:

good = [x for x in mylist if x in goodvals]
bad  = [x for x in mylist if x not in goodvals]

is there a more elegant way to do this?

Update: here"s the actual use case, to better explain what I"m trying to do:

# files looks like: [ ("file1.jpg", 33L, ".jpg"), ("file2.avi", 999L, ".avi"), ... ]
IMAGE_TYPES = (".jpg",".jpeg",".gif",".bmp",".png")
images = [f for f in files if f[2].lower() in IMAGE_TYPES]
anims  = [f for f in files if f[2].lower() not in IMAGE_TYPES]

Answer #1

In Python, what is the purpose of __slots__ and what are the cases one should avoid this?

TLDR:

The special attribute __slots__ allows you to explicitly state which instance attributes you expect your object instances to have, with the expected results:

  1. faster attribute access.
  2. space savings in memory.

The space savings is from

  1. Storing value references in slots instead of __dict__.
  2. Denying __dict__ and __weakref__ creation if parent classes deny them and you declare __slots__.

Quick Caveats

Small caveat, you should only declare a particular slot one time in an inheritance tree. For example:

class Base:
    __slots__ = "foo", "bar"

class Right(Base):
    __slots__ = "baz", 

class Wrong(Base):
    __slots__ = "foo", "bar", "baz"        # redundant foo and bar

Python doesn"t object when you get this wrong (it probably should), problems might not otherwise manifest, but your objects will take up more space than they otherwise should. Python 3.8:

>>> from sys import getsizeof
>>> getsizeof(Right()), getsizeof(Wrong())
(56, 72)

This is because the Base"s slot descriptor has a slot separate from the Wrong"s. This shouldn"t usually come up, but it could:

>>> w = Wrong()
>>> w.foo = "foo"
>>> Base.foo.__get__(w)
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "<stdin>", line 1, in <module>
AttributeError: foo
>>> Wrong.foo.__get__(w)
"foo"

The biggest caveat is for multiple inheritance - multiple "parent classes with nonempty slots" cannot be combined.

To accommodate this restriction, follow best practices: Factor out all but one or all parents" abstraction which their concrete class respectively and your new concrete class collectively will inherit from - giving the abstraction(s) empty slots (just like abstract base classes in the standard library).

See section on multiple inheritance below for an example.

Requirements:

  • To have attributes named in __slots__ to actually be stored in slots instead of a __dict__, a class must inherit from object (automatic in Python 3, but must be explicit in Python 2).

  • To prevent the creation of a __dict__, you must inherit from object and all classes in the inheritance must declare __slots__ and none of them can have a "__dict__" entry.

There are a lot of details if you wish to keep reading.

Why use __slots__: Faster attribute access.

The creator of Python, Guido van Rossum, states that he actually created __slots__ for faster attribute access.

It is trivial to demonstrate measurably significant faster access:

import timeit

class Foo(object): __slots__ = "foo",

class Bar(object): pass

slotted = Foo()
not_slotted = Bar()

def get_set_delete_fn(obj):
    def get_set_delete():
        obj.foo = "foo"
        obj.foo
        del obj.foo
    return get_set_delete

and

>>> min(timeit.repeat(get_set_delete_fn(slotted)))
0.2846834529991611
>>> min(timeit.repeat(get_set_delete_fn(not_slotted)))
0.3664822799983085

The slotted access is almost 30% faster in Python 3.5 on Ubuntu.

>>> 0.3664822799983085 / 0.2846834529991611
1.2873325658284342

In Python 2 on Windows I have measured it about 15% faster.

Why use __slots__: Memory Savings

Another purpose of __slots__ is to reduce the space in memory that each object instance takes up.

My own contribution to the documentation clearly states the reasons behind this:

The space saved over using __dict__ can be significant.

SQLAlchemy attributes a lot of memory savings to __slots__.

To verify this, using the Anaconda distribution of Python 2.7 on Ubuntu Linux, with guppy.hpy (aka heapy) and sys.getsizeof, the size of a class instance without __slots__ declared, and nothing else, is 64 bytes. That does not include the __dict__. Thank you Python for lazy evaluation again, the __dict__ is apparently not called into existence until it is referenced, but classes without data are usually useless. When called into existence, the __dict__ attribute is a minimum of 280 bytes additionally.

In contrast, a class instance with __slots__ declared to be () (no data) is only 16 bytes, and 56 total bytes with one item in slots, 64 with two.

For 64 bit Python, I illustrate the memory consumption in bytes in Python 2.7 and 3.6, for __slots__ and __dict__ (no slots defined) for each point where the dict grows in 3.6 (except for 0, 1, and 2 attributes):

       Python 2.7             Python 3.6
attrs  __slots__  __dict__*   __slots__  __dict__* | *(no slots defined)
none   16         56 + 272†   16         56 + 112† | †if __dict__ referenced
one    48         56 + 272    48         56 + 112
two    56         56 + 272    56         56 + 112
six    88         56 + 1040   88         56 + 152
11     128        56 + 1040   128        56 + 240
22     216        56 + 3344   216        56 + 408     
43     384        56 + 3344   384        56 + 752

So, in spite of smaller dicts in Python 3, we see how nicely __slots__ scale for instances to save us memory, and that is a major reason you would want to use __slots__.

Just for completeness of my notes, note that there is a one-time cost per slot in the class"s namespace of 64 bytes in Python 2, and 72 bytes in Python 3, because slots use data descriptors like properties, called "members".

>>> Foo.foo
<member "foo" of "Foo" objects>
>>> type(Foo.foo)
<class "member_descriptor">
>>> getsizeof(Foo.foo)
72

Demonstration of __slots__:

To deny the creation of a __dict__, you must subclass object. Everything subclasses object in Python 3, but in Python 2 you had to be explicit:

class Base(object): 
    __slots__ = ()

now:

>>> b = Base()
>>> b.a = "a"
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "<pyshell#38>", line 1, in <module>
    b.a = "a"
AttributeError: "Base" object has no attribute "a"

Or subclass another class that defines __slots__

class Child(Base):
    __slots__ = ("a",)

and now:

c = Child()
c.a = "a"

but:

>>> c.b = "b"
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "<pyshell#42>", line 1, in <module>
    c.b = "b"
AttributeError: "Child" object has no attribute "b"

To allow __dict__ creation while subclassing slotted objects, just add "__dict__" to the __slots__ (note that slots are ordered, and you shouldn"t repeat slots that are already in parent classes):

class SlottedWithDict(Child): 
    __slots__ = ("__dict__", "b")

swd = SlottedWithDict()
swd.a = "a"
swd.b = "b"
swd.c = "c"

and

>>> swd.__dict__
{"c": "c"}

Or you don"t even need to declare __slots__ in your subclass, and you will still use slots from the parents, but not restrict the creation of a __dict__:

class NoSlots(Child): pass
ns = NoSlots()
ns.a = "a"
ns.b = "b"

And:

>>> ns.__dict__
{"b": "b"}

However, __slots__ may cause problems for multiple inheritance:

class BaseA(object): 
    __slots__ = ("a",)

class BaseB(object): 
    __slots__ = ("b",)

Because creating a child class from parents with both non-empty slots fails:

>>> class Child(BaseA, BaseB): __slots__ = ()
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "<pyshell#68>", line 1, in <module>
    class Child(BaseA, BaseB): __slots__ = ()
TypeError: Error when calling the metaclass bases
    multiple bases have instance lay-out conflict

If you run into this problem, You could just remove __slots__ from the parents, or if you have control of the parents, give them empty slots, or refactor to abstractions:

from abc import ABC

class AbstractA(ABC):
    __slots__ = ()

class BaseA(AbstractA): 
    __slots__ = ("a",)

class AbstractB(ABC):
    __slots__ = ()

class BaseB(AbstractB): 
    __slots__ = ("b",)

class Child(AbstractA, AbstractB): 
    __slots__ = ("a", "b")

c = Child() # no problem!

Add "__dict__" to __slots__ to get dynamic assignment:

class Foo(object):
    __slots__ = "bar", "baz", "__dict__"

and now:

>>> foo = Foo()
>>> foo.boink = "boink"

So with "__dict__" in slots we lose some of the size benefits with the upside of having dynamic assignment and still having slots for the names we do expect.

When you inherit from an object that isn"t slotted, you get the same sort of semantics when you use __slots__ - names that are in __slots__ point to slotted values, while any other values are put in the instance"s __dict__.

Avoiding __slots__ because you want to be able to add attributes on the fly is actually not a good reason - just add "__dict__" to your __slots__ if this is required.

You can similarly add __weakref__ to __slots__ explicitly if you need that feature.

Set to empty tuple when subclassing a namedtuple:

The namedtuple builtin make immutable instances that are very lightweight (essentially, the size of tuples) but to get the benefits, you need to do it yourself if you subclass them:

from collections import namedtuple
class MyNT(namedtuple("MyNT", "bar baz")):
    """MyNT is an immutable and lightweight object"""
    __slots__ = ()

usage:

>>> nt = MyNT("bar", "baz")
>>> nt.bar
"bar"
>>> nt.baz
"baz"

And trying to assign an unexpected attribute raises an AttributeError because we have prevented the creation of __dict__:

>>> nt.quux = "quux"
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "<stdin>", line 1, in <module>
AttributeError: "MyNT" object has no attribute "quux"

You can allow __dict__ creation by leaving off __slots__ = (), but you can"t use non-empty __slots__ with subtypes of tuple.

Biggest Caveat: Multiple inheritance

Even when non-empty slots are the same for multiple parents, they cannot be used together:

class Foo(object): 
    __slots__ = "foo", "bar"
class Bar(object):
    __slots__ = "foo", "bar" # alas, would work if empty, i.e. ()

>>> class Baz(Foo, Bar): pass
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "<stdin>", line 1, in <module>
TypeError: Error when calling the metaclass bases
    multiple bases have instance lay-out conflict

Using an empty __slots__ in the parent seems to provide the most flexibility, allowing the child to choose to prevent or allow (by adding "__dict__" to get dynamic assignment, see section above) the creation of a __dict__:

class Foo(object): __slots__ = ()
class Bar(object): __slots__ = ()
class Baz(Foo, Bar): __slots__ = ("foo", "bar")
b = Baz()
b.foo, b.bar = "foo", "bar"

You don"t have to have slots - so if you add them, and remove them later, it shouldn"t cause any problems.

Going out on a limb here: If you"re composing mixins or using abstract base classes, which aren"t intended to be instantiated, an empty __slots__ in those parents seems to be the best way to go in terms of flexibility for subclassers.

To demonstrate, first, let"s create a class with code we"d like to use under multiple inheritance

class AbstractBase:
    __slots__ = ()
    def __init__(self, a, b):
        self.a = a
        self.b = b
    def __repr__(self):
        return f"{type(self).__name__}({repr(self.a)}, {repr(self.b)})"

We could use the above directly by inheriting and declaring the expected slots:

class Foo(AbstractBase):
    __slots__ = "a", "b"

But we don"t care about that, that"s trivial single inheritance, we need another class we might also inherit from, maybe with a noisy attribute:

class AbstractBaseC:
    __slots__ = ()
    @property
    def c(self):
        print("getting c!")
        return self._c
    @c.setter
    def c(self, arg):
        print("setting c!")
        self._c = arg

Now if both bases had nonempty slots, we couldn"t do the below. (In fact, if we wanted, we could have given AbstractBase nonempty slots a and b, and left them out of the below declaration - leaving them in would be wrong):

class Concretion(AbstractBase, AbstractBaseC):
    __slots__ = "a b _c".split()

And now we have functionality from both via multiple inheritance, and can still deny __dict__ and __weakref__ instantiation:

>>> c = Concretion("a", "b")
>>> c.c = c
setting c!
>>> c.c
getting c!
Concretion("a", "b")
>>> c.d = "d"
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "<stdin>", line 1, in <module>
AttributeError: "Concretion" object has no attribute "d"

Other cases to avoid slots:

  • Avoid them when you want to perform __class__ assignment with another class that doesn"t have them (and you can"t add them) unless the slot layouts are identical. (I am very interested in learning who is doing this and why.)
  • Avoid them if you want to subclass variable length builtins like long, tuple, or str, and you want to add attributes to them.
  • Avoid them if you insist on providing default values via class attributes for instance variables.

You may be able to tease out further caveats from the rest of the __slots__ documentation (the 3.7 dev docs are the most current), which I have made significant recent contributions to.

Critiques of other answers

The current top answers cite outdated information and are quite hand-wavy and miss the mark in some important ways.

Do not "only use __slots__ when instantiating lots of objects"

I quote:

"You would want to use __slots__ if you are going to instantiate a lot (hundreds, thousands) of objects of the same class."

Abstract Base Classes, for example, from the collections module, are not instantiated, yet __slots__ are declared for them.

Why?

If a user wishes to deny __dict__ or __weakref__ creation, those things must not be available in the parent classes.

__slots__ contributes to reusability when creating interfaces or mixins.

It is true that many Python users aren"t writing for reusability, but when you are, having the option to deny unnecessary space usage is valuable.

__slots__ doesn"t break pickling

When pickling a slotted object, you may find it complains with a misleading TypeError:

>>> pickle.loads(pickle.dumps(f))
TypeError: a class that defines __slots__ without defining __getstate__ cannot be pickled

This is actually incorrect. This message comes from the oldest protocol, which is the default. You can select the latest protocol with the -1 argument. In Python 2.7 this would be 2 (which was introduced in 2.3), and in 3.6 it is 4.

>>> pickle.loads(pickle.dumps(f, -1))
<__main__.Foo object at 0x1129C770>

in Python 2.7:

>>> pickle.loads(pickle.dumps(f, 2))
<__main__.Foo object at 0x1129C770>

in Python 3.6

>>> pickle.loads(pickle.dumps(f, 4))
<__main__.Foo object at 0x1129C770>

So I would keep this in mind, as it is a solved problem.

Critique of the (until Oct 2, 2016) accepted answer

The first paragraph is half short explanation, half predictive. Here"s the only part that actually answers the question

The proper use of __slots__ is to save space in objects. Instead of having a dynamic dict that allows adding attributes to objects at anytime, there is a static structure which does not allow additions after creation. This saves the overhead of one dict for every object that uses slots

The second half is wishful thinking, and off the mark:

While this is sometimes a useful optimization, it would be completely unnecessary if the Python interpreter was dynamic enough so that it would only require the dict when there actually were additions to the object.

Python actually does something similar to this, only creating the __dict__ when it is accessed, but creating lots of objects with no data is fairly ridiculous.

The second paragraph oversimplifies and misses actual reasons to avoid __slots__. The below is not a real reason to avoid slots (for actual reasons, see the rest of my answer above.):

They change the behavior of the objects that have slots in a way that can be abused by control freaks and static typing weenies.

It then goes on to discuss other ways of accomplishing that perverse goal with Python, not discussing anything to do with __slots__.

The third paragraph is more wishful thinking. Together it is mostly off-the-mark content that the answerer didn"t even author and contributes to ammunition for critics of the site.

Memory usage evidence

Create some normal objects and slotted objects:

>>> class Foo(object): pass
>>> class Bar(object): __slots__ = ()

Instantiate a million of them:

>>> foos = [Foo() for f in xrange(1000000)]
>>> bars = [Bar() for b in xrange(1000000)]

Inspect with guppy.hpy().heap():

>>> guppy.hpy().heap()
Partition of a set of 2028259 objects. Total size = 99763360 bytes.
 Index  Count   %     Size   % Cumulative  % Kind (class / dict of class)
     0 1000000  49 64000000  64  64000000  64 __main__.Foo
     1     169   0 16281480  16  80281480  80 list
     2 1000000  49 16000000  16  96281480  97 __main__.Bar
     3   12284   1   987472   1  97268952  97 str
...

Access the regular objects and their __dict__ and inspect again:

>>> for f in foos:
...     f.__dict__
>>> guppy.hpy().heap()
Partition of a set of 3028258 objects. Total size = 379763480 bytes.
 Index  Count   %      Size    % Cumulative  % Kind (class / dict of class)
     0 1000000  33 280000000  74 280000000  74 dict of __main__.Foo
     1 1000000  33  64000000  17 344000000  91 __main__.Foo
     2     169   0  16281480   4 360281480  95 list
     3 1000000  33  16000000   4 376281480  99 __main__.Bar
     4   12284   0    987472   0 377268952  99 str
...

This is consistent with the history of Python, from Unifying types and classes in Python 2.2

If you subclass a built-in type, extra space is automatically added to the instances to accomodate __dict__ and __weakrefs__. (The __dict__ is not initialized until you use it though, so you shouldn"t worry about the space occupied by an empty dictionary for each instance you create.) If you don"t need this extra space, you can add the phrase "__slots__ = []" to your class.

Answer #2

Quick Answer:

The simplest way to get row counts per group is by calling .size(), which returns a Series:

df.groupby(["col1","col2"]).size()


Usually you want this result as a DataFrame (instead of a Series) so you can do:

df.groupby(["col1", "col2"]).size().reset_index(name="counts")


If you want to find out how to calculate the row counts and other statistics for each group continue reading below.


Detailed example:

Consider the following example dataframe:

In [2]: df
Out[2]: 
  col1 col2  col3  col4  col5  col6
0    A    B  0.20 -0.61 -0.49  1.49
1    A    B -1.53 -1.01 -0.39  1.82
2    A    B -0.44  0.27  0.72  0.11
3    A    B  0.28 -1.32  0.38  0.18
4    C    D  0.12  0.59  0.81  0.66
5    C    D -0.13 -1.65 -1.64  0.50
6    C    D -1.42 -0.11 -0.18 -0.44
7    E    F -0.00  1.42 -0.26  1.17
8    E    F  0.91 -0.47  1.35 -0.34
9    G    H  1.48 -0.63 -1.14  0.17

First let"s use .size() to get the row counts:

In [3]: df.groupby(["col1", "col2"]).size()
Out[3]: 
col1  col2
A     B       4
C     D       3
E     F       2
G     H       1
dtype: int64

Then let"s use .size().reset_index(name="counts") to get the row counts:

In [4]: df.groupby(["col1", "col2"]).size().reset_index(name="counts")
Out[4]: 
  col1 col2  counts
0    A    B       4
1    C    D       3
2    E    F       2
3    G    H       1


Including results for more statistics

When you want to calculate statistics on grouped data, it usually looks like this:

In [5]: (df
   ...: .groupby(["col1", "col2"])
   ...: .agg({
   ...:     "col3": ["mean", "count"], 
   ...:     "col4": ["median", "min", "count"]
   ...: }))
Out[5]: 
            col4                  col3      
          median   min count      mean count
col1 col2                                   
A    B    -0.810 -1.32     4 -0.372500     4
C    D    -0.110 -1.65     3 -0.476667     3
E    F     0.475 -0.47     2  0.455000     2
G    H    -0.630 -0.63     1  1.480000     1

The result above is a little annoying to deal with because of the nested column labels, and also because row counts are on a per column basis.

To gain more control over the output I usually split the statistics into individual aggregations that I then combine using join. It looks like this:

In [6]: gb = df.groupby(["col1", "col2"])
   ...: counts = gb.size().to_frame(name="counts")
   ...: (counts
   ...:  .join(gb.agg({"col3": "mean"}).rename(columns={"col3": "col3_mean"}))
   ...:  .join(gb.agg({"col4": "median"}).rename(columns={"col4": "col4_median"}))
   ...:  .join(gb.agg({"col4": "min"}).rename(columns={"col4": "col4_min"}))
   ...:  .reset_index()
   ...: )
   ...: 
Out[6]: 
  col1 col2  counts  col3_mean  col4_median  col4_min
0    A    B       4  -0.372500       -0.810     -1.32
1    C    D       3  -0.476667       -0.110     -1.65
2    E    F       2   0.455000        0.475     -0.47
3    G    H       1   1.480000       -0.630     -0.63



Footnotes

The code used to generate the test data is shown below:

In [1]: import numpy as np
   ...: import pandas as pd 
   ...: 
   ...: keys = np.array([
   ...:         ["A", "B"],
   ...:         ["A", "B"],
   ...:         ["A", "B"],
   ...:         ["A", "B"],
   ...:         ["C", "D"],
   ...:         ["C", "D"],
   ...:         ["C", "D"],
   ...:         ["E", "F"],
   ...:         ["E", "F"],
   ...:         ["G", "H"] 
   ...:         ])
   ...: 
   ...: df = pd.DataFrame(
   ...:     np.hstack([keys,np.random.randn(10,4).round(2)]), 
   ...:     columns = ["col1", "col2", "col3", "col4", "col5", "col6"]
   ...: )
   ...: 
   ...: df[["col3", "col4", "col5", "col6"]] = 
   ...:     df[["col3", "col4", "col5", "col6"]].astype(float)
   ...: 


Disclaimer:

If some of the columns that you are aggregating have null values, then you really want to be looking at the group row counts as an independent aggregation for each column. Otherwise you may be misled as to how many records are actually being used to calculate things like the mean because pandas will drop NaN entries in the mean calculation without telling you about it.

Answer #3

TL;DR version:

For the simple case of:

  • I have a text column with a delimiter and I want two columns

The simplest solution is:

df[["A", "B"]] = df["AB"].str.split(" ", 1, expand=True)

You must use expand=True if your strings have a non-uniform number of splits and you want None to replace the missing values.

Notice how, in either case, the .tolist() method is not necessary. Neither is zip().

In detail:

Andy Hayden"s solution is most excellent in demonstrating the power of the str.extract() method.

But for a simple split over a known separator (like, splitting by dashes, or splitting by whitespace), the .str.split() method is enough1. It operates on a column (Series) of strings, and returns a column (Series) of lists:

>>> import pandas as pd
>>> df = pd.DataFrame({"AB": ["A1-B1", "A2-B2"]})
>>> df

      AB
0  A1-B1
1  A2-B2
>>> df["AB_split"] = df["AB"].str.split("-")
>>> df

      AB  AB_split
0  A1-B1  [A1, B1]
1  A2-B2  [A2, B2]

1: If you"re unsure what the first two parameters of .str.split() do, I recommend the docs for the plain Python version of the method.

But how do you go from:

  • a column containing two-element lists

to:

  • two columns, each containing the respective element of the lists?

Well, we need to take a closer look at the .str attribute of a column.

It"s a magical object that is used to collect methods that treat each element in a column as a string, and then apply the respective method in each element as efficient as possible:

>>> upper_lower_df = pd.DataFrame({"U": ["A", "B", "C"]})
>>> upper_lower_df

   U
0  A
1  B
2  C
>>> upper_lower_df["L"] = upper_lower_df["U"].str.lower()
>>> upper_lower_df

   U  L
0  A  a
1  B  b
2  C  c

But it also has an "indexing" interface for getting each element of a string by its index:

>>> df["AB"].str[0]

0    A
1    A
Name: AB, dtype: object

>>> df["AB"].str[1]

0    1
1    2
Name: AB, dtype: object

Of course, this indexing interface of .str doesn"t really care if each element it"s indexing is actually a string, as long as it can be indexed, so:

>>> df["AB"].str.split("-", 1).str[0]

0    A1
1    A2
Name: AB, dtype: object

>>> df["AB"].str.split("-", 1).str[1]

0    B1
1    B2
Name: AB, dtype: object

Then, it"s a simple matter of taking advantage of the Python tuple unpacking of iterables to do

>>> df["A"], df["B"] = df["AB"].str.split("-", 1).str
>>> df

      AB  AB_split   A   B
0  A1-B1  [A1, B1]  A1  B1
1  A2-B2  [A2, B2]  A2  B2

Of course, getting a DataFrame out of splitting a column of strings is so useful that the .str.split() method can do it for you with the expand=True parameter:

>>> df["AB"].str.split("-", 1, expand=True)

    0   1
0  A1  B1
1  A2  B2

So, another way of accomplishing what we wanted is to do:

>>> df = df[["AB"]]
>>> df

      AB
0  A1-B1
1  A2-B2

>>> df.join(df["AB"].str.split("-", 1, expand=True).rename(columns={0:"A", 1:"B"}))

      AB   A   B
0  A1-B1  A1  B1
1  A2-B2  A2  B2

The expand=True version, although longer, has a distinct advantage over the tuple unpacking method. Tuple unpacking doesn"t deal well with splits of different lengths:

>>> df = pd.DataFrame({"AB": ["A1-B1", "A2-B2", "A3-B3-C3"]})
>>> df
         AB
0     A1-B1
1     A2-B2
2  A3-B3-C3
>>> df["A"], df["B"], df["C"] = df["AB"].str.split("-")
Traceback (most recent call last):
  [...]    
ValueError: Length of values does not match length of index
>>> 

But expand=True handles it nicely by placing None in the columns for which there aren"t enough "splits":

>>> df.join(
...     df["AB"].str.split("-", expand=True).rename(
...         columns={0:"A", 1:"B", 2:"C"}
...     )
... )
         AB   A   B     C
0     A1-B1  A1  B1  None
1     A2-B2  A2  B2  None
2  A3-B3-C3  A3  B3    C3

Answer #4

There are several ways to select rows from a Pandas dataframe:

  1. Boolean indexing (df[df["col"] == value] )
  2. Positional indexing (df.iloc[...])
  3. Label indexing (df.xs(...))
  4. df.query(...) API

Below I show you examples of each, with advice when to use certain techniques. Assume our criterion is column "A" == "foo"

(Note on performance: For each base type, we can keep things simple by using the Pandas API or we can venture outside the API, usually into NumPy, and speed things up.)


Setup

The first thing we"ll need is to identify a condition that will act as our criterion for selecting rows. We"ll start with the OP"s case column_name == some_value, and include some other common use cases.

Borrowing from @unutbu:

import pandas as pd, numpy as np

df = pd.DataFrame({"A": "foo bar foo bar foo bar foo foo".split(),
                   "B": "one one two three two two one three".split(),
                   "C": np.arange(8), "D": np.arange(8) * 2})

1. Boolean indexing

... Boolean indexing requires finding the true value of each row"s "A" column being equal to "foo", then using those truth values to identify which rows to keep. Typically, we"d name this series, an array of truth values, mask. We"ll do so here as well.

mask = df["A"] == "foo"

We can then use this mask to slice or index the data frame

df[mask]

     A      B  C   D
0  foo    one  0   0
2  foo    two  2   4
4  foo    two  4   8
6  foo    one  6  12
7  foo  three  7  14

This is one of the simplest ways to accomplish this task and if performance or intuitiveness isn"t an issue, this should be your chosen method. However, if performance is a concern, then you might want to consider an alternative way of creating the mask.


2. Positional indexing

Positional indexing (df.iloc[...]) has its use cases, but this isn"t one of them. In order to identify where to slice, we first need to perform the same boolean analysis we did above. This leaves us performing one extra step to accomplish the same task.

mask = df["A"] == "foo"
pos = np.flatnonzero(mask)
df.iloc[pos]

     A      B  C   D
0  foo    one  0   0
2  foo    two  2   4
4  foo    two  4   8
6  foo    one  6  12
7  foo  three  7  14

3. Label indexing

Label indexing can be very handy, but in this case, we are again doing more work for no benefit

df.set_index("A", append=True, drop=False).xs("foo", level=1)

     A      B  C   D
0  foo    one  0   0
2  foo    two  2   4
4  foo    two  4   8
6  foo    one  6  12
7  foo  three  7  14

4. df.query() API

pd.DataFrame.query is a very elegant/intuitive way to perform this task, but is often slower. However, if you pay attention to the timings below, for large data, the query is very efficient. More so than the standard approach and of similar magnitude as my best suggestion.

df.query("A == "foo"")

     A      B  C   D
0  foo    one  0   0
2  foo    two  2   4
4  foo    two  4   8
6  foo    one  6  12
7  foo  three  7  14

My preference is to use the Boolean mask

Actual improvements can be made by modifying how we create our Boolean mask.

mask alternative 1 Use the underlying NumPy array and forgo the overhead of creating another pd.Series

mask = df["A"].values == "foo"

I"ll show more complete time tests at the end, but just take a look at the performance gains we get using the sample data frame. First, we look at the difference in creating the mask

%timeit mask = df["A"].values == "foo"
%timeit mask = df["A"] == "foo"

5.84 µs ± 195 ns per loop (mean ± std. dev. of 7 runs, 100000 loops each)
166 µs ± 4.45 µs per loop (mean ± std. dev. of 7 runs, 10000 loops each)

Evaluating the mask with the NumPy array is ~ 30 times faster. This is partly due to NumPy evaluation often being faster. It is also partly due to the lack of overhead necessary to build an index and a corresponding pd.Series object.

Next, we"ll look at the timing for slicing with one mask versus the other.

mask = df["A"].values == "foo"
%timeit df[mask]
mask = df["A"] == "foo"
%timeit df[mask]

219 µs ± 12.3 µs per loop (mean ± std. dev. of 7 runs, 1000 loops each)
239 µs ± 7.03 µs per loop (mean ± std. dev. of 7 runs, 1000 loops each)

The performance gains aren"t as pronounced. We"ll see if this holds up over more robust testing.


mask alternative 2 We could have reconstructed the data frame as well. There is a big caveat when reconstructing a dataframe—you must take care of the dtypes when doing so!

Instead of df[mask] we will do this

pd.DataFrame(df.values[mask], df.index[mask], df.columns).astype(df.dtypes)

If the data frame is of mixed type, which our example is, then when we get df.values the resulting array is of dtype object and consequently, all columns of the new data frame will be of dtype object. Thus requiring the astype(df.dtypes) and killing any potential performance gains.

%timeit df[m]
%timeit pd.DataFrame(df.values[mask], df.index[mask], df.columns).astype(df.dtypes)

216 µs ± 10.4 µs per loop (mean ± std. dev. of 7 runs, 1000 loops each)
1.43 ms ± 39.6 µs per loop (mean ± std. dev. of 7 runs, 1000 loops each)

However, if the data frame is not of mixed type, this is a very useful way to do it.

Given

np.random.seed([3,1415])
d1 = pd.DataFrame(np.random.randint(10, size=(10, 5)), columns=list("ABCDE"))

d1

   A  B  C  D  E
0  0  2  7  3  8
1  7  0  6  8  6
2  0  2  0  4  9
3  7  3  2  4  3
4  3  6  7  7  4
5  5  3  7  5  9
6  8  7  6  4  7
7  6  2  6  6  5
8  2  8  7  5  8
9  4  7  6  1  5

%%timeit
mask = d1["A"].values == 7
d1[mask]

179 µs ± 8.73 µs per loop (mean ± std. dev. of 7 runs, 10000 loops each)

Versus

%%timeit
mask = d1["A"].values == 7
pd.DataFrame(d1.values[mask], d1.index[mask], d1.columns)

87 µs ± 5.12 µs per loop (mean ± std. dev. of 7 runs, 10000 loops each)

We cut the time in half.


mask alternative 3

@unutbu also shows us how to use pd.Series.isin to account for each element of df["A"] being in a set of values. This evaluates to the same thing if our set of values is a set of one value, namely "foo". But it also generalizes to include larger sets of values if needed. Turns out, this is still pretty fast even though it is a more general solution. The only real loss is in intuitiveness for those not familiar with the concept.

mask = df["A"].isin(["foo"])
df[mask]

     A      B  C   D
0  foo    one  0   0
2  foo    two  2   4
4  foo    two  4   8
6  foo    one  6  12
7  foo  three  7  14

However, as before, we can utilize NumPy to improve performance while sacrificing virtually nothing. We"ll use np.in1d

mask = np.in1d(df["A"].values, ["foo"])
df[mask]

     A      B  C   D
0  foo    one  0   0
2  foo    two  2   4
4  foo    two  4   8
6  foo    one  6  12
7  foo  three  7  14

Timing

I"ll include other concepts mentioned in other posts as well for reference.

Code Below

Each column in this table represents a different length data frame over which we test each function. Each column shows relative time taken, with the fastest function given a base index of 1.0.

res.div(res.min())

                         10        30        100       300       1000      3000      10000     30000
mask_standard         2.156872  1.850663  2.034149  2.166312  2.164541  3.090372  2.981326  3.131151
mask_standard_loc     1.879035  1.782366  1.988823  2.338112  2.361391  3.036131  2.998112  2.990103
mask_with_values      1.010166  1.000000  1.005113  1.026363  1.028698  1.293741  1.007824  1.016919
mask_with_values_loc  1.196843  1.300228  1.000000  1.000000  1.038989  1.219233  1.037020  1.000000
query                 4.997304  4.765554  5.934096  4.500559  2.997924  2.397013  1.680447  1.398190
xs_label              4.124597  4.272363  5.596152  4.295331  4.676591  5.710680  6.032809  8.950255
mask_with_isin        1.674055  1.679935  1.847972  1.724183  1.345111  1.405231  1.253554  1.264760
mask_with_in1d        1.000000  1.083807  1.220493  1.101929  1.000000  1.000000  1.000000  1.144175

You"ll notice that the fastest times seem to be shared between mask_with_values and mask_with_in1d.

res.T.plot(loglog=True)

Enter image description here

Functions

def mask_standard(df):
    mask = df["A"] == "foo"
    return df[mask]

def mask_standard_loc(df):
    mask = df["A"] == "foo"
    return df.loc[mask]

def mask_with_values(df):
    mask = df["A"].values == "foo"
    return df[mask]

def mask_with_values_loc(df):
    mask = df["A"].values == "foo"
    return df.loc[mask]

def query(df):
    return df.query("A == "foo"")

def xs_label(df):
    return df.set_index("A", append=True, drop=False).xs("foo", level=-1)

def mask_with_isin(df):
    mask = df["A"].isin(["foo"])
    return df[mask]

def mask_with_in1d(df):
    mask = np.in1d(df["A"].values, ["foo"])
    return df[mask]

Testing

res = pd.DataFrame(
    index=[
        "mask_standard", "mask_standard_loc", "mask_with_values", "mask_with_values_loc",
        "query", "xs_label", "mask_with_isin", "mask_with_in1d"
    ],
    columns=[10, 30, 100, 300, 1000, 3000, 10000, 30000],
    dtype=float
)

for j in res.columns:
    d = pd.concat([df] * j, ignore_index=True)
    for i in res.index:a
        stmt = "{}(d)".format(i)
        setp = "from __main__ import d, {}".format(i)
        res.at[i, j] = timeit(stmt, setp, number=50)

Special Timing

Looking at the special case when we have a single non-object dtype for the entire data frame.

Code Below

spec.div(spec.min())

                     10        30        100       300       1000      3000      10000     30000
mask_with_values  1.009030  1.000000  1.194276  1.000000  1.236892  1.095343  1.000000  1.000000
mask_with_in1d    1.104638  1.094524  1.156930  1.072094  1.000000  1.000000  1.040043  1.027100
reconstruct       1.000000  1.142838  1.000000  1.355440  1.650270  2.222181  2.294913  3.406735

Turns out, reconstruction isn"t worth it past a few hundred rows.

spec.T.plot(loglog=True)

Enter image description here

Functions

np.random.seed([3,1415])
d1 = pd.DataFrame(np.random.randint(10, size=(10, 5)), columns=list("ABCDE"))

def mask_with_values(df):
    mask = df["A"].values == "foo"
    return df[mask]

def mask_with_in1d(df):
    mask = np.in1d(df["A"].values, ["foo"])
    return df[mask]

def reconstruct(df):
    v = df.values
    mask = np.in1d(df["A"].values, ["foo"])
    return pd.DataFrame(v[mask], df.index[mask], df.columns)

spec = pd.DataFrame(
    index=["mask_with_values", "mask_with_in1d", "reconstruct"],
    columns=[10, 30, 100, 300, 1000, 3000, 10000, 30000],
    dtype=float
)

Testing

for j in spec.columns:
    d = pd.concat([df] * j, ignore_index=True)
    for i in spec.index:
        stmt = "{}(d)".format(i)
        setp = "from __main__ import d, {}".format(i)
        spec.at[i, j] = timeit(stmt, setp, number=50)

Answer #5

It"s much easier if you use Response.raw and shutil.copyfileobj():

import requests
import shutil

def download_file(url):
    local_filename = url.split("/")[-1]
    with requests.get(url, stream=True) as r:
        with open(local_filename, "wb") as f:
            shutil.copyfileobj(r.raw, f)

    return local_filename

This streams the file to disk without using excessive memory, and the code is simple.

Answer #6

Explain all in Python?

I keep seeing the variable __all__ set in different __init__.py files.

What does this do?

What does __all__ do?

It declares the semantically "public" names from a module. If there is a name in __all__, users are expected to use it, and they can have the expectation that it will not change.

It also will have programmatic effects:

import *

__all__ in a module, e.g. module.py:

__all__ = ["foo", "Bar"]

means that when you import * from the module, only those names in the __all__ are imported:

from module import *               # imports foo and Bar

Documentation tools

Documentation and code autocompletion tools may (in fact, should) also inspect the __all__ to determine what names to show as available from a module.

__init__.py makes a directory a Python package

From the docs:

The __init__.py files are required to make Python treat the directories as containing packages; this is done to prevent directories with a common name, such as string, from unintentionally hiding valid modules that occur later on the module search path.

In the simplest case, __init__.py can just be an empty file, but it can also execute initialization code for the package or set the __all__ variable.

So the __init__.py can declare the __all__ for a package.

Managing an API:

A package is typically made up of modules that may import one another, but that are necessarily tied together with an __init__.py file. That file is what makes the directory an actual Python package. For example, say you have the following files in a package:

package
├── __init__.py
├── module_1.py
└── module_2.py

Let"s create these files with Python so you can follow along - you could paste the following into a Python 3 shell:

from pathlib import Path

package = Path("package")
package.mkdir()

(package / "__init__.py").write_text("""
from .module_1 import *
from .module_2 import *
""")

package_module_1 = package / "module_1.py"
package_module_1.write_text("""
__all__ = ["foo"]
imp_detail1 = imp_detail2 = imp_detail3 = None
def foo(): pass
""")

package_module_2 = package / "module_2.py"
package_module_2.write_text("""
__all__ = ["Bar"]
imp_detail1 = imp_detail2 = imp_detail3 = None
class Bar: pass
""")

And now you have presented a complete api that someone else can use when they import your package, like so:

import package
package.foo()
package.Bar()

And the package won"t have all the other implementation details you used when creating your modules cluttering up the package namespace.

__all__ in __init__.py

After more work, maybe you"ve decided that the modules are too big (like many thousands of lines?) and need to be split up. So you do the following:

package
├── __init__.py
├── module_1
│   ├── foo_implementation.py
│   └── __init__.py
└── module_2
    ├── Bar_implementation.py
    └── __init__.py

First make the subpackage directories with the same names as the modules:

subpackage_1 = package / "module_1"
subpackage_1.mkdir()
subpackage_2 = package / "module_2"
subpackage_2.mkdir()

Move the implementations:

package_module_1.rename(subpackage_1 / "foo_implementation.py")
package_module_2.rename(subpackage_2 / "Bar_implementation.py")

create __init__.pys for the subpackages that declare the __all__ for each:

(subpackage_1 / "__init__.py").write_text("""
from .foo_implementation import *
__all__ = ["foo"]
""")
(subpackage_2 / "__init__.py").write_text("""
from .Bar_implementation import *
__all__ = ["Bar"]
""")

And now you still have the api provisioned at the package level:

>>> import package
>>> package.foo()
>>> package.Bar()
<package.module_2.Bar_implementation.Bar object at 0x7f0c2349d210>

And you can easily add things to your API that you can manage at the subpackage level instead of the subpackage"s module level. If you want to add a new name to the API, you simply update the __init__.py, e.g. in module_2:

from .Bar_implementation import *
from .Baz_implementation import *
__all__ = ["Bar", "Baz"]

And if you"re not ready to publish Baz in the top level API, in your top level __init__.py you could have:

from .module_1 import *       # also constrained by __all__"s
from .module_2 import *       # in the __init__.py"s
__all__ = ["foo", "Bar"]     # further constraining the names advertised

and if your users are aware of the availability of Baz, they can use it:

import package
package.Baz()

but if they don"t know about it, other tools (like pydoc) won"t inform them.

You can later change that when Baz is ready for prime time:

from .module_1 import *
from .module_2 import *
__all__ = ["foo", "Bar", "Baz"]

Prefixing _ versus __all__:

By default, Python will export all names that do not start with an _. You certainly could rely on this mechanism. Some packages in the Python standard library, in fact, do rely on this, but to do so, they alias their imports, for example, in ctypes/__init__.py:

import os as _os, sys as _sys

Using the _ convention can be more elegant because it removes the redundancy of naming the names again. But it adds the redundancy for imports (if you have a lot of them) and it is easy to forget to do this consistently - and the last thing you want is to have to indefinitely support something you intended to only be an implementation detail, just because you forgot to prefix an _ when naming a function.

I personally write an __all__ early in my development lifecycle for modules so that others who might use my code know what they should use and not use.

Most packages in the standard library also use __all__.

When avoiding __all__ makes sense

It makes sense to stick to the _ prefix convention in lieu of __all__ when:

  • You"re still in early development mode and have no users, and are constantly tweaking your API.
  • Maybe you do have users, but you have unittests that cover the API, and you"re still actively adding to the API and tweaking in development.

An export decorator

The downside of using __all__ is that you have to write the names of functions and classes being exported twice - and the information is kept separate from the definitions. We could use a decorator to solve this problem.

I got the idea for such an export decorator from David Beazley"s talk on packaging. This implementation seems to work well in CPython"s traditional importer. If you have a special import hook or system, I do not guarantee it, but if you adopt it, it is fairly trivial to back out - you"ll just need to manually add the names back into the __all__

So in, for example, a utility library, you would define the decorator:

import sys

def export(fn):
    mod = sys.modules[fn.__module__]
    if hasattr(mod, "__all__"):
        mod.__all__.append(fn.__name__)
    else:
        mod.__all__ = [fn.__name__]
    return fn

and then, where you would define an __all__, you do this:

$ cat > main.py
from lib import export
__all__ = [] # optional - we create a list if __all__ is not there.

@export
def foo(): pass

@export
def bar():
    "bar"

def main():
    print("main")

if __name__ == "__main__":
    main()

And this works fine whether run as main or imported by another function.

$ cat > run.py
import main
main.main()

$ python run.py
main

And API provisioning with import * will work too:

$ cat > run.py
from main import *
foo()
bar()
main() # expected to error here, not exported

$ python run.py
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "run.py", line 4, in <module>
    main() # expected to error here, not exported
NameError: name "main" is not defined

Answer #7

A comment in the Python source code for float objects acknowledges that:

Comparison is pretty much a nightmare

This is especially true when comparing a float to an integer, because, unlike floats, integers in Python can be arbitrarily large and are always exact. Trying to cast the integer to a float might lose precision and make the comparison inaccurate. Trying to cast the float to an integer is not going to work either because any fractional part will be lost.

To get around this problem, Python performs a series of checks, returning the result if one of the checks succeeds. It compares the signs of the two values, then whether the integer is "too big" to be a float, then compares the exponent of the float to the length of the integer. If all of these checks fail, it is necessary to construct two new Python objects to compare in order to obtain the result.

When comparing a float v to an integer/long w, the worst case is that:

  • v and w have the same sign (both positive or both negative),
  • the integer w has few enough bits that it can be held in the size_t type (typically 32 or 64 bits),
  • the integer w has at least 49 bits,
  • the exponent of the float v is the same as the number of bits in w.

And this is exactly what we have for the values in the question:

>>> import math
>>> math.frexp(562949953420000.7) # gives the float"s (significand, exponent) pair
(0.9999999999976706, 49)
>>> (562949953421000).bit_length()
49

We see that 49 is both the exponent of the float and the number of bits in the integer. Both numbers are positive and so the four criteria above are met.

Choosing one of the values to be larger (or smaller) can change the number of bits of the integer, or the value of the exponent, and so Python is able to determine the result of the comparison without performing the expensive final check.

This is specific to the CPython implementation of the language.


The comparison in more detail

The float_richcompare function handles the comparison between two values v and w.

Below is a step-by-step description of the checks that the function performs. The comments in the Python source are actually very helpful when trying to understand what the function does, so I"ve left them in where relevant. I"ve also summarised these checks in a list at the foot of the answer.

The main idea is to map the Python objects v and w to two appropriate C doubles, i and j, which can then be easily compared to give the correct result. Both Python 2 and Python 3 use the same ideas to do this (the former just handles int and long types separately).

The first thing to do is check that v is definitely a Python float and map it to a C double i. Next the function looks at whether w is also a float and maps it to a C double j. This is the best case scenario for the function as all the other checks can be skipped. The function also checks to see whether v is inf or nan:

static PyObject*
float_richcompare(PyObject *v, PyObject *w, int op)
{
    double i, j;
    int r = 0;
    assert(PyFloat_Check(v));       
    i = PyFloat_AS_DOUBLE(v);       

    if (PyFloat_Check(w))           
        j = PyFloat_AS_DOUBLE(w);   

    else if (!Py_IS_FINITE(i)) {
        if (PyLong_Check(w))
            j = 0.0;
        else
            goto Unimplemented;
    }

Now we know that if w failed these checks, it is not a Python float. Now the function checks if it"s a Python integer. If this is the case, the easiest test is to extract the sign of v and the sign of w (return 0 if zero, -1 if negative, 1 if positive). If the signs are different, this is all the information needed to return the result of the comparison:

    else if (PyLong_Check(w)) {
        int vsign = i == 0.0 ? 0 : i < 0.0 ? -1 : 1;
        int wsign = _PyLong_Sign(w);
        size_t nbits;
        int exponent;

        if (vsign != wsign) {
            /* Magnitudes are irrelevant -- the signs alone
             * determine the outcome.
             */
            i = (double)vsign;
            j = (double)wsign;
            goto Compare;
        }
    }   

If this check failed, then v and w have the same sign.

The next check counts the number of bits in the integer w. If it has too many bits then it can"t possibly be held as a float and so must be larger in magnitude than the float v:

    nbits = _PyLong_NumBits(w);
    if (nbits == (size_t)-1 && PyErr_Occurred()) {
        /* This long is so large that size_t isn"t big enough
         * to hold the # of bits.  Replace with little doubles
         * that give the same outcome -- w is so large that
         * its magnitude must exceed the magnitude of any
         * finite float.
         */
        PyErr_Clear();
        i = (double)vsign;
        assert(wsign != 0);
        j = wsign * 2.0;
        goto Compare;
    }

On the other hand, if the integer w has 48 or fewer bits, it can safely turned in a C double j and compared:

    if (nbits <= 48) {
        j = PyLong_AsDouble(w);
        /* It"s impossible that <= 48 bits overflowed. */
        assert(j != -1.0 || ! PyErr_Occurred());
        goto Compare;
    }

From this point onwards, we know that w has 49 or more bits. It will be convenient to treat w as a positive integer, so change the sign and the comparison operator as necessary:

    if (nbits <= 48) {
        /* "Multiply both sides" by -1; this also swaps the
         * comparator.
         */
        i = -i;
        op = _Py_SwappedOp[op];
    }

Now the function looks at the exponent of the float. Recall that a float can be written (ignoring sign) as significand * 2exponent and that the significand represents a number between 0.5 and 1:

    (void) frexp(i, &exponent);
    if (exponent < 0 || (size_t)exponent < nbits) {
        i = 1.0;
        j = 2.0;
        goto Compare;
    }

This checks two things. If the exponent is less than 0 then the float is smaller than 1 (and so smaller in magnitude than any integer). Or, if the exponent is less than the number of bits in w then we have that v < |w| since significand * 2exponent is less than 2nbits.

Failing these two checks, the function looks to see whether the exponent is greater than the number of bit in w. This shows that significand * 2exponent is greater than 2nbits and so v > |w|:

    if ((size_t)exponent > nbits) {
        i = 2.0;
        j = 1.0;
        goto Compare;
    }

If this check did not succeed we know that the exponent of the float v is the same as the number of bits in the integer w.

The only way that the two values can be compared now is to construct two new Python integers from v and w. The idea is to discard the fractional part of v, double the integer part, and then add one. w is also doubled and these two new Python objects can be compared to give the correct return value. Using an example with small values, 4.65 < 4 would be determined by the comparison (2*4)+1 == 9 < 8 == (2*4) (returning false).

    {
        double fracpart;
        double intpart;
        PyObject *result = NULL;
        PyObject *one = NULL;
        PyObject *vv = NULL;
        PyObject *ww = w;

        // snip

        fracpart = modf(i, &intpart); // split i (the double that v mapped to)
        vv = PyLong_FromDouble(intpart);

        // snip

        if (fracpart != 0.0) {
            /* Shift left, and or a 1 bit into vv
             * to represent the lost fraction.
             */
            PyObject *temp;

            one = PyLong_FromLong(1);

            temp = PyNumber_Lshift(ww, one); // left-shift doubles an integer
            ww = temp;

            temp = PyNumber_Lshift(vv, one);
            vv = temp;

            temp = PyNumber_Or(vv, one); // a doubled integer is even, so this adds 1
            vv = temp;
        }
        // snip
    }
}

For brevity I"ve left out the additional error-checking and garbage-tracking Python has to do when it creates these new objects. Needless to say, this adds additional overhead and explains why the values highlighted in the question are significantly slower to compare than others.


Here is a summary of the checks that are performed by the comparison function.

Let v be a float and cast it as a C double. Now, if w is also a float:

  • Check whether w is nan or inf. If so, handle this special case separately depending on the type of w.

  • If not, compare v and w directly by their representations as C doubles.

If w is an integer:

  • Extract the signs of v and w. If they are different then we know v and w are different and which is the greater value.

  • (The signs are the same.) Check whether w has too many bits to be a float (more than size_t). If so, w has greater magnitude than v.

  • Check if w has 48 or fewer bits. If so, it can be safely cast to a C double without losing its precision and compared with v.

  • (w has more than 48 bits. We will now treat w as a positive integer having changed the compare op as appropriate.)

  • Consider the exponent of the float v. If the exponent is negative, then v is less than 1 and therefore less than any positive integer. Else, if the exponent is less than the number of bits in w then it must be less than w.

  • If the exponent of v is greater than the number of bits in w then v is greater than w.

  • (The exponent is the same as the number of bits in w.)

  • The final check. Split v into its integer and fractional parts. Double the integer part and add 1 to compensate for the fractional part. Now double the integer w. Compare these two new integers instead to get the result.

Answer #8

To somewhat expand on the earlier answers here, there are a number of details which are commonly overlooked.

  • Prefer subprocess.run() over subprocess.check_call() and friends over subprocess.call() over subprocess.Popen() over os.system() over os.popen()
  • Understand and probably use text=True, aka universal_newlines=True.
  • Understand the meaning of shell=True or shell=False and how it changes quoting and the availability of shell conveniences.
  • Understand differences between sh and Bash
  • Understand how a subprocess is separate from its parent, and generally cannot change the parent.
  • Avoid running the Python interpreter as a subprocess of Python.

These topics are covered in some more detail below.

Prefer subprocess.run() or subprocess.check_call()

The subprocess.Popen() function is a low-level workhorse but it is tricky to use correctly and you end up copy/pasting multiple lines of code ... which conveniently already exist in the standard library as a set of higher-level wrapper functions for various purposes, which are presented in more detail in the following.

Here"s a paragraph from the documentation:

The recommended approach to invoking subprocesses is to use the run() function for all use cases it can handle. For more advanced use cases, the underlying Popen interface can be used directly.

Unfortunately, the availability of these wrapper functions differs between Python versions.

  • subprocess.run() was officially introduced in Python 3.5. It is meant to replace all of the following.
  • subprocess.check_output() was introduced in Python 2.7 / 3.1. It is basically equivalent to subprocess.run(..., check=True, stdout=subprocess.PIPE).stdout
  • subprocess.check_call() was introduced in Python 2.5. It is basically equivalent to subprocess.run(..., check=True)
  • subprocess.call() was introduced in Python 2.4 in the original subprocess module (PEP-324). It is basically equivalent to subprocess.run(...).returncode

High-level API vs subprocess.Popen()

The refactored and extended subprocess.run() is more logical and more versatile than the older legacy functions it replaces. It returns a CompletedProcess object which has various methods which allow you to retrieve the exit status, the standard output, and a few other results and status indicators from the finished subprocess.

subprocess.run() is the way to go if you simply need a program to run and return control to Python. For more involved scenarios (background processes, perhaps with interactive I/O with the Python parent program) you still need to use subprocess.Popen() and take care of all the plumbing yourself. This requires a fairly intricate understanding of all the moving parts and should not be undertaken lightly. The simpler Popen object represents the (possibly still-running) process which needs to be managed from your code for the remainder of the lifetime of the subprocess.

It should perhaps be emphasized that just subprocess.Popen() merely creates a process. If you leave it at that, you have a subprocess running concurrently alongside with Python, so a "background" process. If it doesn"t need to do input or output or otherwise coordinate with you, it can do useful work in parallel with your Python program.

Avoid os.system() and os.popen()

Since time eternal (well, since Python 2.5) the os module documentation has contained the recommendation to prefer subprocess over os.system():

The subprocess module provides more powerful facilities for spawning new processes and retrieving their results; using that module is preferable to using this function.

The problems with system() are that it"s obviously system-dependent and doesn"t offer ways to interact with the subprocess. It simply runs, with standard output and standard error outside of Python"s reach. The only information Python receives back is the exit status of the command (zero means success, though the meaning of non-zero values is also somewhat system-dependent).

PEP-324 (which was already mentioned above) contains a more detailed rationale for why os.system is problematic and how subprocess attempts to solve those issues.

os.popen() used to be even more strongly discouraged:

Deprecated since version 2.6: This function is obsolete. Use the subprocess module.

However, since sometime in Python 3, it has been reimplemented to simply use subprocess, and redirects to the subprocess.Popen() documentation for details.

Understand and usually use check=True

You"ll also notice that subprocess.call() has many of the same limitations as os.system(). In regular use, you should generally check whether the process finished successfully, which subprocess.check_call() and subprocess.check_output() do (where the latter also returns the standard output of the finished subprocess). Similarly, you should usually use check=True with subprocess.run() unless you specifically need to allow the subprocess to return an error status.

In practice, with check=True or subprocess.check_*, Python will throw a CalledProcessError exception if the subprocess returns a nonzero exit status.

A common error with subprocess.run() is to omit check=True and be surprised when downstream code fails if the subprocess failed.

On the other hand, a common problem with check_call() and check_output() was that users who blindly used these functions were surprised when the exception was raised e.g. when grep did not find a match. (You should probably replace grep with native Python code anyway, as outlined below.)

All things counted, you need to understand how shell commands return an exit code, and under what conditions they will return a non-zero (error) exit code, and make a conscious decision how exactly it should be handled.

Understand and probably use text=True aka universal_newlines=True

Since Python 3, strings internal to Python are Unicode strings. But there is no guarantee that a subprocess generates Unicode output, or strings at all.

(If the differences are not immediately obvious, Ned Batchelder"s Pragmatic Unicode is recommended, if not outright obligatory, reading. There is a 36-minute video presentation behind the link if you prefer, though reading the page yourself will probably take significantly less time.)

Deep down, Python has to fetch a bytes buffer and interpret it somehow. If it contains a blob of binary data, it shouldn"t be decoded into a Unicode string, because that"s error-prone and bug-inducing behavior - precisely the sort of pesky behavior which riddled many Python 2 scripts, before there was a way to properly distinguish between encoded text and binary data.

With text=True, you tell Python that you, in fact, expect back textual data in the system"s default encoding, and that it should be decoded into a Python (Unicode) string to the best of Python"s ability (usually UTF-8 on any moderately up to date system, except perhaps Windows?)

If that"s not what you request back, Python will just give you bytes strings in the stdout and stderr strings. Maybe at some later point you do know that they were text strings after all, and you know their encoding. Then, you can decode them.

normal = subprocess.run([external, arg],
    stdout=subprocess.PIPE, stderr=subprocess.PIPE,
    check=True,
    text=True)
print(normal.stdout)

convoluted = subprocess.run([external, arg],
    stdout=subprocess.PIPE, stderr=subprocess.PIPE,
    check=True)
# You have to know (or guess) the encoding
print(convoluted.stdout.decode("utf-8"))

Python 3.7 introduced the shorter and more descriptive and understandable alias text for the keyword argument which was previously somewhat misleadingly called universal_newlines.

Understand shell=True vs shell=False

With shell=True you pass a single string to your shell, and the shell takes it from there.

With shell=False you pass a list of arguments to the OS, bypassing the shell.

When you don"t have a shell, you save a process and get rid of a fairly substantial amount of hidden complexity, which may or may not harbor bugs or even security problems.

On the other hand, when you don"t have a shell, you don"t have redirection, wildcard expansion, job control, and a large number of other shell features.

A common mistake is to use shell=True and then still pass Python a list of tokens, or vice versa. This happens to work in some cases, but is really ill-defined and could break in interesting ways.

# XXX AVOID THIS BUG
buggy = subprocess.run("dig +short stackoverflow.com")

# XXX AVOID THIS BUG TOO
broken = subprocess.run(["dig", "+short", "stackoverflow.com"],
    shell=True)

# XXX DEFINITELY AVOID THIS
pathological = subprocess.run(["dig +short stackoverflow.com"],
    shell=True)

correct = subprocess.run(["dig", "+short", "stackoverflow.com"],
    # Probably don"t forget these, too
    check=True, text=True)

# XXX Probably better avoid shell=True
# but this is nominally correct
fixed_but_fugly = subprocess.run("dig +short stackoverflow.com",
    shell=True,
    # Probably don"t forget these, too
    check=True, text=True)

The common retort "but it works for me" is not a useful rebuttal unless you understand exactly under what circumstances it could stop working.

Refactoring Example

Very often, the features of the shell can be replaced with native Python code. Simple Awk or sed scripts should probably simply be translated to Python instead.

To partially illustrate this, here is a typical but slightly silly example which involves many shell features.

cmd = """while read -r x;
   do ping -c 3 "$x" | grep "round-trip min/avg/max"
   done <hosts.txt"""

# Trivial but horrible
results = subprocess.run(
    cmd, shell=True, universal_newlines=True, check=True)
print(results.stdout)

# Reimplement with shell=False
with open("hosts.txt") as hosts:
    for host in hosts:
        host = host.rstrip("
")  # drop newline
        ping = subprocess.run(
             ["ping", "-c", "3", host],
             text=True,
             stdout=subprocess.PIPE,
             check=True)
        for line in ping.stdout.split("
"):
             if "round-trip min/avg/max" in line:
                 print("{}: {}".format(host, line))

Some things to note here:

  • With shell=False you don"t need the quoting that the shell requires around strings. Putting quotes anyway is probably an error.
  • It often makes sense to run as little code as possible in a subprocess. This gives you more control over execution from within your Python code.
  • Having said that, complex shell pipelines are tedious and sometimes challenging to reimplement in Python.

The refactored code also illustrates just how much the shell really does for you with a very terse syntax -- for better or for worse. Python says explicit is better than implicit but the Python code is rather verbose and arguably looks more complex than this really is. On the other hand, it offers a number of points where you can grab control in the middle of something else, as trivially exemplified by the enhancement that we can easily include the host name along with the shell command output. (This is by no means challenging to do in the shell, either, but at the expense of yet another diversion and perhaps another process.)

Common Shell Constructs

For completeness, here are brief explanations of some of these shell features, and some notes on how they can perhaps be replaced with native Python facilities.

  • Globbing aka wildcard expansion can be replaced with glob.glob() or very often with simple Python string comparisons like for file in os.listdir("."): if not file.endswith(".png"): continue. Bash has various other expansion facilities like .{png,jpg} brace expansion and {1..100} as well as tilde expansion (~ expands to your home directory, and more generally ~account to the home directory of another user)
  • Shell variables like $SHELL or $my_exported_var can sometimes simply be replaced with Python variables. Exported shell variables are available as e.g. os.environ["SHELL"] (the meaning of export is to make the variable available to subprocesses -- a variable which is not available to subprocesses will obviously not be available to Python running as a subprocess of the shell, or vice versa. The env= keyword argument to subprocess methods allows you to define the environment of the subprocess as a dictionary, so that"s one way to make a Python variable visible to a subprocess). With shell=False you will need to understand how to remove any quotes; for example, cd "$HOME" is equivalent to os.chdir(os.environ["HOME"]) without quotes around the directory name. (Very often cd is not useful or necessary anyway, and many beginners omit the double quotes around the variable and get away with it until one day ...)
  • Redirection allows you to read from a file as your standard input, and write your standard output to a file. grep "foo" <inputfile >outputfile opens outputfile for writing and inputfile for reading, and passes its contents as standard input to grep, whose standard output then lands in outputfile. This is not generally hard to replace with native Python code.
  • Pipelines are a form of redirection. echo foo | nl runs two subprocesses, where the standard output of echo is the standard input of nl (on the OS level, in Unix-like systems, this is a single file handle). If you cannot replace one or both ends of the pipeline with native Python code, perhaps think about using a shell after all, especially if the pipeline has more than two or three processes (though look at the pipes module in the Python standard library or a number of more modern and versatile third-party competitors).
  • Job control lets you interrupt jobs, run them in the background, return them to the foreground, etc. The basic Unix signals to stop and continue a process are of course available from Python, too. But jobs are a higher-level abstraction in the shell which involve process groups etc which you have to understand if you want to do something like this from Python.
  • Quoting in the shell is potentially confusing until you understand that everything is basically a string. So ls -l / is equivalent to "ls" "-l" "/" but the quoting around literals is completely optional. Unquoted strings which contain shell metacharacters undergo parameter expansion, whitespace tokenization and wildcard expansion; double quotes prevent whitespace tokenization and wildcard expansion but allow parameter expansions (variable substitution, command substitution, and backslash processing). This is simple in theory but can get bewildering, especially when there are several layers of interpretation (a remote shell command, for example).

Understand differences between sh and Bash

subprocess runs your shell commands with /bin/sh unless you specifically request otherwise (except of course on Windows, where it uses the value of the COMSPEC variable). This means that various Bash-only features like arrays, [[ etc are not available.

If you need to use Bash-only syntax, you can pass in the path to the shell as executable="/bin/bash" (where of course if your Bash is installed somewhere else, you need to adjust the path).

subprocess.run("""
    # This for loop syntax is Bash only
    for((i=1;i<=$#;i++)); do
        # Arrays are Bash-only
        array[i]+=123
    done""",
    shell=True, check=True,
    executable="/bin/bash")

A subprocess is separate from its parent, and cannot change it

A somewhat common mistake is doing something like

subprocess.run("cd /tmp", shell=True)
subprocess.run("pwd", shell=True)  # Oops, doesn"t print /tmp

The same thing will happen if the first subprocess tries to set an environment variable, which of course will have disappeared when you run another subprocess, etc.

A child process runs completely separate from Python, and when it finishes, Python has no idea what it did (apart from the vague indicators that it can infer from the exit status and output from the child process). A child generally cannot change the parent"s environment; it cannot set a variable, change the working directory, or, in so many words, communicate with its parent without cooperation from the parent.

The immediate fix in this particular case is to run both commands in a single subprocess;

subprocess.run("cd /tmp; pwd", shell=True)

though obviously this particular use case isn"t very useful; instead, use the cwd keyword argument, or simply os.chdir() before running the subprocess. Similarly, for setting a variable, you can manipulate the environment of the current process (and thus also its children) via

os.environ["foo"] = "bar"

or pass an environment setting to a child process with

subprocess.run("echo "$foo"", shell=True, env={"foo": "bar"})

(not to mention the obvious refactoring subprocess.run(["echo", "bar"]); but echo is a poor example of something to run in a subprocess in the first place, of course).

Don"t run Python from Python

This is slightly dubious advice; there are certainly situations where it does make sense or is even an absolute requirement to run the Python interpreter as a subprocess from a Python script. But very frequently, the correct approach is simply to import the other Python module into your calling script and call its functions directly.

If the other Python script is under your control, and it isn"t a module, consider turning it into one. (This answer is too long already so I will not delve into details here.)

If you need parallelism, you can run Python functions in subprocesses with the multiprocessing module. There is also threading which runs multiple tasks in a single process (which is more lightweight and gives you more control, but also more constrained in that threads within a process are tightly coupled, and bound to a single GIL.)

Answer #9

urllib has been split up in Python 3.

The urllib.urlencode() function is now urllib.parse.urlencode(),

the urllib.urlopen() function is now urllib.request.urlopen().

Answer #10

Distribution Fitting with Sum of Square Error (SSE)

This is an update and modification to Saullo"s answer, that uses the full list of the current scipy.stats distributions and returns the distribution with the least SSE between the distribution"s histogram and the data"s histogram.

Example Fitting

Using the El Niño dataset from statsmodels, the distributions are fit and error is determined. The distribution with the least error is returned.

All Distributions

All Fitted Distributions

Best Fit Distribution

Best Fit Distribution

Example Code

%matplotlib inline

import warnings
import numpy as np
import pandas as pd
import scipy.stats as st
import statsmodels.api as sm
from scipy.stats._continuous_distns import _distn_names
import matplotlib
import matplotlib.pyplot as plt

matplotlib.rcParams["figure.figsize"] = (16.0, 12.0)
matplotlib.style.use("ggplot")

# Create models from data
def best_fit_distribution(data, bins=200, ax=None):
    """Model data by finding best fit distribution to data"""
    # Get histogram of original data
    y, x = np.histogram(data, bins=bins, density=True)
    x = (x + np.roll(x, -1))[:-1] / 2.0

    # Best holders
    best_distributions = []

    # Estimate distribution parameters from data
    for ii, distribution in enumerate([d for d in _distn_names if not d in ["levy_stable", "studentized_range"]]):

        print("{:>3} / {:<3}: {}".format( ii+1, len(_distn_names), distribution ))

        distribution = getattr(st, distribution)

        # Try to fit the distribution
        try:
            # Ignore warnings from data that can"t be fit
            with warnings.catch_warnings():
                warnings.filterwarnings("ignore")
                
                # fit dist to data
                params = distribution.fit(data)

                # Separate parts of parameters
                arg = params[:-2]
                loc = params[-2]
                scale = params[-1]
                
                # Calculate fitted PDF and error with fit in distribution
                pdf = distribution.pdf(x, loc=loc, scale=scale, *arg)
                sse = np.sum(np.power(y - pdf, 2.0))
                
                # if axis pass in add to plot
                try:
                    if ax:
                        pd.Series(pdf, x).plot(ax=ax)
                    end
                except Exception:
                    pass

                # identify if this distribution is better
                best_distributions.append((distribution, params, sse))
        
        except Exception:
            pass

    
    return sorted(best_distributions, key=lambda x:x[2])

def make_pdf(dist, params, size=10000):
    """Generate distributions"s Probability Distribution Function """

    # Separate parts of parameters
    arg = params[:-2]
    loc = params[-2]
    scale = params[-1]

    # Get sane start and end points of distribution
    start = dist.ppf(0.01, *arg, loc=loc, scale=scale) if arg else dist.ppf(0.01, loc=loc, scale=scale)
    end = dist.ppf(0.99, *arg, loc=loc, scale=scale) if arg else dist.ppf(0.99, loc=loc, scale=scale)

    # Build PDF and turn into pandas Series
    x = np.linspace(start, end, size)
    y = dist.pdf(x, loc=loc, scale=scale, *arg)
    pdf = pd.Series(y, x)

    return pdf

# Load data from statsmodels datasets
data = pd.Series(sm.datasets.elnino.load_pandas().data.set_index("YEAR").values.ravel())

# Plot for comparison
plt.figure(figsize=(12,8))
ax = data.plot(kind="hist", bins=50, density=True, alpha=0.5, color=list(matplotlib.rcParams["axes.prop_cycle"])[1]["color"])

# Save plot limits
dataYLim = ax.get_ylim()

# Find best fit distribution
best_distibutions = best_fit_distribution(data, 200, ax)
best_dist = best_distibutions[0]

# Update plots
ax.set_ylim(dataYLim)
ax.set_title(u"El Niño sea temp.
 All Fitted Distributions")
ax.set_xlabel(u"Temp (°C)")
ax.set_ylabel("Frequency")

# Make PDF with best params 
pdf = make_pdf(best_dist[0], best_dist[1])

# Display
plt.figure(figsize=(12,8))
ax = pdf.plot(lw=2, label="PDF", legend=True)
data.plot(kind="hist", bins=50, density=True, alpha=0.5, label="Data", legend=True, ax=ax)

param_names = (best_dist[0].shapes + ", loc, scale").split(", ") if best_dist[0].shapes else ["loc", "scale"]
param_str = ", ".join(["{}={:0.2f}".format(k,v) for k,v in zip(param_names, best_dist[1])])
dist_str = "{}({})".format(best_dist[0].name, param_str)

ax.set_title(u"El Niño sea temp. with best fit distribution 
" + dist_str)
ax.set_xlabel(u"Temp. (°C)")
ax.set_ylabel("Frequency")

Tutorials