Javascript Domain

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Contents

The JavaScript Document Object Model (DOM) is a representation of the HTML elements of a web page. It is an interface that we can use to manipulate a web page by modifying its content or style.

We can access the DOM by right clicking on a web page and selecting " inspect ". This way, a section (right or left) should appear with the HTML elements of the web page you are on. By hovering the mouse over these elements, you can find out which sections of the page are represented by them when the sections of the page are highlighted.

We can manipulate the content or the style of the pages by coding in the console.

The DOM itself is a tree-like data structure with nested parent and child elements. Items without children are called " leaves ”. When you inspect a page, you can see that our main node element of our tree is the document, then our html tag, then our head tag, which contains the scripts and our title, which branch out into a single tree. We can also see our body tag, which is separate from the head tag and branches into a different tree that carries a different element. Below is an example of the elements used to represent the Python.Engineering home page.

capture of screen career-karma-honepage-to-HTML exposed elements

Note that the right part of the homepage is highlighted when hovering over a particular div element which is a child of the body tag . In this article, we discuss ways to select elements in the DOM for future manipulation.


Selecting elements in the DOM

There are two ways to select elements in the DOM. One uses getElements methods, the other uses querySelector methods.

getElement methods

The getElement methods take a single string argument of a tag name, class name, or identifier. The tag and class name will return an array-like object called an HTML collection indicating how many times the item you are looking for appears on the page.

document.getElementsByTagName (’p’): Note that there are currently seven p tags on the Python.Engineering homepage.

 capture of Python.Engineering home screen with code-a- console

document.getElementsByClassName ( ’hzjqne’) : this will return the HTML collection containing all the elements with the given class.

document.getElementById ( ’__ NEXT_DATA__’) : recovery of an element by the identifier the corresponding element da ns the console will be returned. Because ID names must be unique, they should not return a collection of anything.

capture of screen career-karma- home with code at the console

querySelector methods

When using the query select methods, we must remember to include the period before the class name and the pound sign before the identifying name to find or select what we are looking for. This is the most common error when using the querySelector () or querySelectorAll methods () .

 screenshot by -career-karma-pa ge of home console with code

Another difference is that when you use querySelectorAll () instead of an HTML library, you get in return something called a node list, which is also an array type object.

 screenshot -di- -karma home career with queues-in-console

The difference between an HTML gallery and a node list is that we can use the method .forEach () on a list of nodes. We cannot do this with an HTML collection if we are trying to manipulate the DOM. However, JavaScript has a method that we can use to create an array from an object of array type such as an HTML library or a node list. This method is .from () and comes from the Array class. Array.from (arrayLikeObject)

Note that we can select all the elements with querySelectors that we can with getMethods ().


Conclusion

The DOM is a powerful interface that represents the HTML code of a web page. It has a tree structure that we can see when we inspect the page. We can use methods like querySelector () or getMethods to be able to manipulate what we see with JavaScript.

Javascript Domain: StackOverflow Questions

How can I make a time delay in Python?

I would like to know how to put a time delay in a Python script.

Answer #1:

import time
time.sleep(5)   # Delays for 5 seconds. You can also use a float value.

Here is another example where something is run approximately once a minute:

import time
while True:
    print("This prints once a minute.")
    time.sleep(60) # Delay for 1 minute (60 seconds).

Answer #2:

You can use the sleep() function in the time module. It can take a float argument for sub-second resolution.

from time import sleep
sleep(0.1) # Time in seconds

Answer #3:

How can I make a time delay in Python?

In a single thread I suggest the sleep function:

>>> from time import sleep

>>> sleep(4)

This function actually suspends the processing of the thread in which it is called by the operating system, allowing other threads and processes to execute while it sleeps.

Use it for that purpose, or simply to delay a function from executing. For example:

>>> def party_time():
...     print("hooray!")
...
>>> sleep(3); party_time()
hooray!

"hooray!" is printed 3 seconds after I hit Enter.

Example using sleep with multiple threads and processes

Again, sleep suspends your thread - it uses next to zero processing power.

To demonstrate, create a script like this (I first attempted this in an interactive Python 3.5 shell, but sub-processes can"t find the party_later function for some reason):

from concurrent.futures import ThreadPoolExecutor, ProcessPoolExecutor, as_completed
from time import sleep, time

def party_later(kind="", n=""):
    sleep(3)
    return kind + n + " party time!: " + __name__

def main():
    with ProcessPoolExecutor() as proc_executor:
        with ThreadPoolExecutor() as thread_executor:
            start_time = time()
            proc_future1 = proc_executor.submit(party_later, kind="proc", n="1")
            proc_future2 = proc_executor.submit(party_later, kind="proc", n="2")
            thread_future1 = thread_executor.submit(party_later, kind="thread", n="1")
            thread_future2 = thread_executor.submit(party_later, kind="thread", n="2")
            for f in as_completed([
              proc_future1, proc_future2, thread_future1, thread_future2,]):
                print(f.result())
            end_time = time()
    print("total time to execute four 3-sec functions:", end_time - start_time)

if __name__ == "__main__":
    main()

Example output from this script:

thread1 party time!: __main__
thread2 party time!: __main__
proc1 party time!: __mp_main__
proc2 party time!: __mp_main__
total time to execute four 3-sec functions: 3.4519670009613037

Multithreading

You can trigger a function to be called at a later time in a separate thread with the Timer threading object:

>>> from threading import Timer
>>> t = Timer(3, party_time, args=None, kwargs=None)
>>> t.start()
>>>
>>> hooray!

>>>

The blank line illustrates that the function printed to my standard output, and I had to hit Enter to ensure I was on a prompt.

The upside of this method is that while the Timer thread was waiting, I was able to do other things, in this case, hitting Enter one time - before the function executed (see the first empty prompt).

There isn"t a respective object in the multiprocessing library. You can create one, but it probably doesn"t exist for a reason. A sub-thread makes a lot more sense for a simple timer than a whole new subprocess.

Answer #4:

Delays can be also implemented by using the following methods.

The first method:

import time
time.sleep(5) # Delay for 5 seconds.

The second method to delay would be using the implicit wait method:

 driver.implicitly_wait(5)

The third method is more useful when you have to wait until a particular action is completed or until an element is found:

self.wait.until(EC.presence_of_element_located((By.ID, "UserName"))

How to delete a file or folder in Python?

How do I delete a file or folder in Python?

Answer #1:


Path objects from the Python 3.4+ pathlib module also expose these instance methods:

Javascript Domain: 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.)

Answer #1:

How can I merge two Python dictionaries in a single expression?

For dictionaries x and y, z becomes a shallowly-merged dictionary with values from y replacing those from x.

  • In Python 3.9.0 or greater (released 17 October 2020): PEP-584, discussed here, was implemented and provides the simplest method:

    z = x | y          # NOTE: 3.9+ ONLY
    
  • In Python 3.5 or greater:

    z = {**x, **y}
    
  • In Python 2, (or 3.4 or lower) write a function:

    def merge_two_dicts(x, y):
        z = x.copy()   # start with keys and values of x
        z.update(y)    # modifies z with keys and values of y
        return z
    

    and now:

    z = merge_two_dicts(x, y)
    

Explanation

Say you have two dictionaries and you want to merge them into a new dictionary without altering the original dictionaries:

x = {"a": 1, "b": 2}
y = {"b": 3, "c": 4}

The desired result is to get a new dictionary (z) with the values merged, and the second dictionary"s values overwriting those from the first.

>>> z
{"a": 1, "b": 3, "c": 4}

A new syntax for this, proposed in PEP 448 and available as of Python 3.5, is

z = {**x, **y}

And it is indeed a single expression.

Note that we can merge in with literal notation as well:

z = {**x, "foo": 1, "bar": 2, **y}

and now:

>>> z
{"a": 1, "b": 3, "foo": 1, "bar": 2, "c": 4}

It is now showing as implemented in the release schedule for 3.5, PEP 478, and it has now made its way into the What"s New in Python 3.5 document.

However, since many organizations are still on Python 2, you may wish to do this in a backward-compatible way. The classically Pythonic way, available in Python 2 and Python 3.0-3.4, is to do this as a two-step process:

z = x.copy()
z.update(y) # which returns None since it mutates z

In both approaches, y will come second and its values will replace x"s values, thus b will point to 3 in our final result.

Not yet on Python 3.5, but want a single expression

If you are not yet on Python 3.5 or need to write backward-compatible code, and you want this in a single expression, the most performant while the correct approach is to put it in a function:

def merge_two_dicts(x, y):
    """Given two dictionaries, merge them into a new dict as a shallow copy."""
    z = x.copy()
    z.update(y)
    return z

and then you have a single expression:

z = merge_two_dicts(x, y)

You can also make a function to merge an arbitrary number of dictionaries, from zero to a very large number:

def merge_dicts(*dict_args):
    """
    Given any number of dictionaries, shallow copy and merge into a new dict,
    precedence goes to key-value pairs in latter dictionaries.
    """
    result = {}
    for dictionary in dict_args:
        result.update(dictionary)
    return result

This function will work in Python 2 and 3 for all dictionaries. e.g. given dictionaries a to g:

z = merge_dicts(a, b, c, d, e, f, g) 

and key-value pairs in g will take precedence over dictionaries a to f, and so on.

Critiques of Other Answers

Don"t use what you see in the formerly accepted answer:

z = dict(x.items() + y.items())

In Python 2, you create two lists in memory for each dict, create a third list in memory with length equal to the length of the first two put together, and then discard all three lists to create the dict. In Python 3, this will fail because you"re adding two dict_items objects together, not two lists -

>>> c = dict(a.items() + b.items())
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "<stdin>", line 1, in <module>
TypeError: unsupported operand type(s) for +: "dict_items" and "dict_items"

and you would have to explicitly create them as lists, e.g. z = dict(list(x.items()) + list(y.items())). This is a waste of resources and computation power.

Similarly, taking the union of items() in Python 3 (viewitems() in Python 2.7) will also fail when values are unhashable objects (like lists, for example). Even if your values are hashable, since sets are semantically unordered, the behavior is undefined in regards to precedence. So don"t do this:

>>> c = dict(a.items() | b.items())

This example demonstrates what happens when values are unhashable:

>>> x = {"a": []}
>>> y = {"b": []}
>>> dict(x.items() | y.items())
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "<stdin>", line 1, in <module>
TypeError: unhashable type: "list"

Here"s an example where y should have precedence, but instead the value from x is retained due to the arbitrary order of sets:

>>> x = {"a": 2}
>>> y = {"a": 1}
>>> dict(x.items() | y.items())
{"a": 2}

Another hack you should not use:

z = dict(x, **y)

This uses the dict constructor and is very fast and memory-efficient (even slightly more so than our two-step process) but unless you know precisely what is happening here (that is, the second dict is being passed as keyword arguments to the dict constructor), it"s difficult to read, it"s not the intended usage, and so it is not Pythonic.

Here"s an example of the usage being remediated in django.

Dictionaries are intended to take hashable keys (e.g. frozensets or tuples), but this method fails in Python 3 when keys are not strings.

>>> c = dict(a, **b)
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "<stdin>", line 1, in <module>
TypeError: keyword arguments must be strings

From the mailing list, Guido van Rossum, the creator of the language, wrote:

I am fine with declaring dict({}, **{1:3}) illegal, since after all it is abuse of the ** mechanism.

and

Apparently dict(x, **y) is going around as "cool hack" for "call x.update(y) and return x". Personally, I find it more despicable than cool.

It is my understanding (as well as the understanding of the creator of the language) that the intended usage for dict(**y) is for creating dictionaries for readability purposes, e.g.:

dict(a=1, b=10, c=11)

instead of

{"a": 1, "b": 10, "c": 11}

Response to comments

Despite what Guido says, dict(x, **y) is in line with the dict specification, which btw. works for both Python 2 and 3. The fact that this only works for string keys is a direct consequence of how keyword parameters work and not a short-coming of dict. Nor is using the ** operator in this place an abuse of the mechanism, in fact, ** was designed precisely to pass dictionaries as keywords.

Again, it doesn"t work for 3 when keys are not strings. The implicit calling contract is that namespaces take ordinary dictionaries, while users must only pass keyword arguments that are strings. All other callables enforced it. dict broke this consistency in Python 2:

>>> foo(**{("a", "b"): None})
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "<stdin>", line 1, in <module>
TypeError: foo() keywords must be strings
>>> dict(**{("a", "b"): None})
{("a", "b"): None}

This inconsistency was bad given other implementations of Python (PyPy, Jython, IronPython). Thus it was fixed in Python 3, as this usage could be a breaking change.

I submit to you that it is malicious incompetence to intentionally write code that only works in one version of a language or that only works given certain arbitrary constraints.

More comments:

dict(x.items() + y.items()) is still the most readable solution for Python 2. Readability counts.

My response: merge_two_dicts(x, y) actually seems much clearer to me, if we"re actually concerned about readability. And it is not forward compatible, as Python 2 is increasingly deprecated.

{**x, **y} does not seem to handle nested dictionaries. the contents of nested keys are simply overwritten, not merged [...] I ended up being burnt by these answers that do not merge recursively and I was surprised no one mentioned it. In my interpretation of the word "merging" these answers describe "updating one dict with another", and not merging.

Yes. I must refer you back to the question, which is asking for a shallow merge of two dictionaries, with the first"s values being overwritten by the second"s - in a single expression.

Assuming two dictionaries of dictionaries, one might recursively merge them in a single function, but you should be careful not to modify the dictionaries from either source, and the surest way to avoid that is to make a copy when assigning values. As keys must be hashable and are usually therefore immutable, it is pointless to copy them:

from copy import deepcopy

def dict_of_dicts_merge(x, y):
    z = {}
    overlapping_keys = x.keys() & y.keys()
    for key in overlapping_keys:
        z[key] = dict_of_dicts_merge(x[key], y[key])
    for key in x.keys() - overlapping_keys:
        z[key] = deepcopy(x[key])
    for key in y.keys() - overlapping_keys:
        z[key] = deepcopy(y[key])
    return z

Usage:

>>> x = {"a":{1:{}}, "b": {2:{}}}
>>> y = {"b":{10:{}}, "c": {11:{}}}
>>> dict_of_dicts_merge(x, y)
{"b": {2: {}, 10: {}}, "a": {1: {}}, "c": {11: {}}}

Coming up with contingencies for other value types is far beyond the scope of this question, so I will point you at my answer to the canonical question on a "Dictionaries of dictionaries merge".

Less Performant But Correct Ad-hocs

These approaches are less performant, but they will provide correct behavior. They will be much less performant than copy and update or the new unpacking because they iterate through each key-value pair at a higher level of abstraction, but they do respect the order of precedence (latter dictionaries have precedence)

You can also chain the dictionaries manually inside a dict comprehension:

{k: v for d in dicts for k, v in d.items()} # iteritems in Python 2.7

or in Python 2.6 (and perhaps as early as 2.4 when generator expressions were introduced):

dict((k, v) for d in dicts for k, v in d.items()) # iteritems in Python 2

itertools.chain will chain the iterators over the key-value pairs in the correct order:

from itertools import chain
z = dict(chain(x.items(), y.items())) # iteritems in Python 2

Performance Analysis

I"m only going to do the performance analysis of the usages known to behave correctly. (Self-contained so you can copy and paste yourself.)

from timeit import repeat
from itertools import chain

x = dict.fromkeys("abcdefg")
y = dict.fromkeys("efghijk")

def merge_two_dicts(x, y):
    z = x.copy()
    z.update(y)
    return z

min(repeat(lambda: {**x, **y}))
min(repeat(lambda: merge_two_dicts(x, y)))
min(repeat(lambda: {k: v for d in (x, y) for k, v in d.items()}))
min(repeat(lambda: dict(chain(x.items(), y.items()))))
min(repeat(lambda: dict(item for d in (x, y) for item in d.items())))

In Python 3.8.1, NixOS:

>>> min(repeat(lambda: {**x, **y}))
1.0804965235292912
>>> min(repeat(lambda: merge_two_dicts(x, y)))
1.636518670246005
>>> min(repeat(lambda: {k: v for d in (x, y) for k, v in d.items()}))
3.1779992282390594
>>> min(repeat(lambda: dict(chain(x.items(), y.items()))))
2.740647904574871
>>> min(repeat(lambda: dict(item for d in (x, y) for item in d.items())))
4.266070580109954
$ uname -a
Linux nixos 4.19.113 #1-NixOS SMP Wed Mar 25 07:06:15 UTC 2020 x86_64 GNU/Linux

Resources on Dictionaries

Answer #2:

In your case, what you can do is:

z = dict(list(x.items()) + list(y.items()))

This will, as you want it, put the final dict in z, and make the value for key b be properly overridden by the second (y) dict"s value:

>>> x = {"a":1, "b": 2}
>>> y = {"b":10, "c": 11}
>>> z = dict(list(x.items()) + list(y.items()))
>>> z
{"a": 1, "c": 11, "b": 10}

If you use Python 2, you can even remove the list() calls. To create z:

>>> z = dict(x.items() + y.items())
>>> z
{"a": 1, "c": 11, "b": 10}

If you use Python version 3.9.0a4 or greater, then you can directly use:

x = {"a":1, "b": 2}
y = {"b":10, "c": 11}
z = x | y
print(z)
{"a": 1, "c": 11, "b": 10}

Answer #3:

An alternative:

z = x.copy()
z.update(y)

Answer #4:

Another, more concise, option:

z = dict(x, **y)

Note: this has become a popular answer, but it is important to point out that if y has any non-string keys, the fact that this works at all is an abuse of a CPython implementation detail, and it does not work in Python 3, or in PyPy, IronPython, or Jython. Also, Guido is not a fan. So I can"t recommend this technique for forward-compatible or cross-implementation portable code, which really means it should be avoided entirely.

Answer #5:

This probably won"t be a popular answer, but you almost certainly do not want to do this. If you want a copy that"s a merge, then use copy (or deepcopy, depending on what you want) and then update. The two lines of code are much more readable - more Pythonic - than the single line creation with .items() + .items(). Explicit is better than implicit.

In addition, when you use .items() (pre Python 3.0), you"re creating a new list that contains the items from the dict. If your dictionaries are large, then that is quite a lot of overhead (two large lists that will be thrown away as soon as the merged dict is created). update() can work more efficiently, because it can run through the second dict item-by-item.

In terms of time:

>>> timeit.Timer("dict(x, **y)", "x = dict(zip(range(1000), range(1000)))
y=dict(zip(range(1000,2000), range(1000,2000)))").timeit(100000)
15.52571702003479
>>> timeit.Timer("temp = x.copy()
temp.update(y)", "x = dict(zip(range(1000), range(1000)))
y=dict(zip(range(1000,2000), range(1000,2000)))").timeit(100000)
15.694622993469238
>>> timeit.Timer("dict(x.items() + y.items())", "x = dict(zip(range(1000), range(1000)))
y=dict(zip(range(1000,2000), range(1000,2000)))").timeit(100000)
41.484580039978027

IMO the tiny slowdown between the first two is worth it for the readability. In addition, keyword arguments for dictionary creation was only added in Python 2.3, whereas copy() and update() will work in older versions.

Javascript Domain: StackOverflow Questions

Finding the index of an item in a list

Given a list ["foo", "bar", "baz"] and an item in the list "bar", how do I get its index (1) in Python?

Answer #1:

>>> ["foo", "bar", "baz"].index("bar")
1

Reference: Data Structures > More on Lists

Caveats follow

Note that while this is perhaps the cleanest way to answer the question as asked, index is a rather weak component of the list API, and I can"t remember the last time I used it in anger. It"s been pointed out to me in the comments that because this answer is heavily referenced, it should be made more complete. Some caveats about list.index follow. It is probably worth initially taking a look at the documentation for it:

list.index(x[, start[, end]])

Return zero-based index in the list of the first item whose value is equal to x. Raises a ValueError if there is no such item.

The optional arguments start and end are interpreted as in the slice notation and are used to limit the search to a particular subsequence of the list. The returned index is computed relative to the beginning of the full sequence rather than the start argument.

Linear time-complexity in list length

An index call checks every element of the list in order, until it finds a match. If your list is long, and you don"t know roughly where in the list it occurs, this search could become a bottleneck. In that case, you should consider a different data structure. Note that if you know roughly where to find the match, you can give index a hint. For instance, in this snippet, l.index(999_999, 999_990, 1_000_000) is roughly five orders of magnitude faster than straight l.index(999_999), because the former only has to search 10 entries, while the latter searches a million:

>>> import timeit
>>> timeit.timeit("l.index(999_999)", setup="l = list(range(0, 1_000_000))", number=1000)
9.356267921015387
>>> timeit.timeit("l.index(999_999, 999_990, 1_000_000)", setup="l = list(range(0, 1_000_000))", number=1000)
0.0004404920036904514
 

Only returns the index of the first match to its argument

A call to index searches through the list in order until it finds a match, and stops there. If you expect to need indices of more matches, you should use a list comprehension, or generator expression.

>>> [1, 1].index(1)
0
>>> [i for i, e in enumerate([1, 2, 1]) if e == 1]
[0, 2]
>>> g = (i for i, e in enumerate([1, 2, 1]) if e == 1)
>>> next(g)
0
>>> next(g)
2

Most places where I once would have used index, I now use a list comprehension or generator expression because they"re more generalizable. So if you"re considering reaching for index, take a look at these excellent Python features.

Throws if element not present in list

A call to index results in a ValueError if the item"s not present.

>>> [1, 1].index(2)
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "<stdin>", line 1, in <module>
ValueError: 2 is not in list

If the item might not be present in the list, you should either

  1. Check for it first with item in my_list (clean, readable approach), or
  2. Wrap the index call in a try/except block which catches ValueError (probably faster, at least when the list to search is long, and the item is usually present.)

Answer #2:

One thing that is really helpful in learning Python is to use the interactive help function:

>>> help(["foo", "bar", "baz"])
Help on list object:

class list(object)
 ...

 |
 |  index(...)
 |      L.index(value, [start, [stop]]) -> integer -- return first index of value
 |

which will often lead you to the method you are looking for.

Answer #3:

The majority of answers explain how to find a single index, but their methods do not return multiple indexes if the item is in the list multiple times. Use enumerate():

for i, j in enumerate(["foo", "bar", "baz"]):
    if j == "bar":
        print(i)

The index() function only returns the first occurrence, while enumerate() returns all occurrences.

As a list comprehension:

[i for i, j in enumerate(["foo", "bar", "baz"]) if j == "bar"]

Here"s also another small solution with itertools.count() (which is pretty much the same approach as enumerate):

from itertools import izip as zip, count # izip for maximum efficiency
[i for i, j in zip(count(), ["foo", "bar", "baz"]) if j == "bar"]

This is more efficient for larger lists than using enumerate():

$ python -m timeit -s "from itertools import izip as zip, count" "[i for i, j in zip(count(), ["foo", "bar", "baz"]*500) if j == "bar"]"
10000 loops, best of 3: 174 usec per loop
$ python -m timeit "[i for i, j in enumerate(["foo", "bar", "baz"]*500) if j == "bar"]"
10000 loops, best of 3: 196 usec per loop

Answer #4:

To get all indexes:

indexes = [i for i,x in enumerate(xs) if x == "foo"]

Answer #5:

index() returns the first index of value!

| index(...)
| L.index(value, [start, [stop]]) -> integer -- return first index of value

def all_indices(value, qlist):
    indices = []
    idx = -1
    while True:
        try:
            idx = qlist.index(value, idx+1)
            indices.append(idx)
        except ValueError:
            break
    return indices

all_indices("foo", ["foo";"bar";"baz";"foo"])

Javascript Domain: StackOverflow Questions

JSON datetime between Python and JavaScript

Question by kevin

I want to send a datetime.datetime object in serialized form from Python using JSON and de-serialize in JavaScript using JSON. What is the best way to do this?

Answer #1:

You can add the "default" parameter to json.dumps to handle this:

date_handler = lambda obj: (
    obj.isoformat()
    if isinstance(obj, (datetime.datetime, datetime.date))
    else None
)
json.dumps(datetime.datetime.now(), default=date_handler)
""2010-04-20T20:08:21.634121""

Which is ISO 8601 format.

A more comprehensive default handler function:

def handler(obj):
    if hasattr(obj, "isoformat"):
        return obj.isoformat()
    elif isinstance(obj, ...):
        return ...
    else:
        raise TypeError, "Object of type %s with value of %s is not JSON serializable" % (type(obj), repr(obj))

Update: Added output of type as well as value.
Update: Also handle date

Javascript equivalent of Python"s zip function

Is there a javascript equivalent of Python"s zip function? That is, given multiple arrays of equal lengths create an array of pairs.

For instance, if I have three arrays that look like this:

var array1 = [1, 2, 3];
var array2 = ["a","b","c"];
var array3 = [4, 5, 6];

The output array should be:

var output array:[[1,"a",4], [2,"b",5], [3,"c",6]]

Answer #1:

2016 update:

Here"s a snazzier Ecmascript 6 version:

zip= rows=>rows[0].map((_,c)=>rows.map(row=>row[c]))

Illustration equiv. to Python{zip(*args)}:

> zip([["row0col0", "row0col1", "row0col2"],
       ["row1col0", "row1col1", "row1col2"]]);
[["row0col0","row1col0"],
 ["row0col1","row1col1"],
 ["row0col2","row1col2"]]

(and FizzyTea points out that ES6 has variadic argument syntax, so the following function definition will act like python, but see below for disclaimer... this will not be its own inverse so zip(zip(x)) will not equal x; though as Matt Kramer points out zip(...zip(...x))==x (like in regular python zip(*zip(*x))==x))

Alternative definition equiv. to Python{zip}:

> zip = (...rows) => [...rows[0]].map((_,c) => rows.map(row => row[c]))
> zip( ["row0col0", "row0col1", "row0col2"] ,
       ["row1col0", "row1col1", "row1col2"] );
             // note zip(row0,row1), not zip(matrix)
same answer as above

(Do note that the ... syntax may have performance issues at this time, and possibly in the future, so if you use the second answer with variadic arguments, you may want to perf test it. That said it"s been quite a while since it"s been in the standard.)

Make sure to note the addendum if you wish to use this on strings (perhaps there"s a better way to do it now with es6 iterables).


Here"s a oneliner:

function zip(arrays) {
    return arrays[0].map(function(_,i){
        return arrays.map(function(array){return array[i]})
    });
}

// > zip([[1,2],[11,22],[111,222]])
// [[1,11,111],[2,22,222]]]

// If you believe the following is a valid return value:
//   > zip([])
//   []
// then you can special-case it, or just do
//  return arrays.length==0 ? [] : arrays[0].map(...)

The above assumes that the arrays are of equal size, as they should be. It also assumes you pass in a single list of lists argument, unlike Python"s version where the argument list is variadic. If you want all of these "features", see below. It takes just about 2 extra lines of code.

The following will mimic Python"s zip behavior on edge cases where the arrays are not of equal size, silently pretending the longer parts of arrays don"t exist:

function zip() {
    var args = [].slice.call(arguments);
    var shortest = args.length==0 ? [] : args.reduce(function(a,b){
        return a.length<b.length ? a : b
    });

    return shortest.map(function(_,i){
        return args.map(function(array){return array[i]})
    });
}

// > zip([1,2],[11,22],[111,222,333])
// [[1,11,111],[2,22,222]]]

// > zip()
// []

This will mimic Python"s itertools.zip_longest behavior, inserting undefined where arrays are not defined:

function zip() {
    var args = [].slice.call(arguments);
    var longest = args.reduce(function(a,b){
        return a.length>b.length ? a : b
    }, []);

    return longest.map(function(_,i){
        return args.map(function(array){return array[i]})
    });
}

// > zip([1,2],[11,22],[111,222,333])
// [[1,11,111],[2,22,222],[null,null,333]]

// > zip()
// []

If you use these last two version (variadic aka. multiple-argument versions), then zip is no longer its own inverse. To mimic the zip(*[...]) idiom from Python, you will need to do zip.apply(this, [...]) when you want to invert the zip function or if you want to similarly have a variable number of lists as input.


addendum:

To make this handle any iterable (e.g. in Python you can use zip on strings, ranges, map objects, etc.), you could define the following:

function iterView(iterable) {
    // returns an array equivalent to the iterable
}

However if you write zip in the following way, even that won"t be necessary:

function zip(arrays) {
    return Array.apply(null,Array(arrays[0].length)).map(function(_,i){
        return arrays.map(function(array){return array[i]})
    });
}

Demo:

> JSON.stringify( zip(["abcde",[1,2,3,4,5]]) )
[["a",1],["b",2],["c",3],["d",4],["e",5]]

(Or you could use a range(...) Python-style function if you"ve written one already. Eventually you will be able to use ECMAScript array comprehensions or generators.)

What blocks Ruby, Python to get Javascript V8 speed?

Are there any Ruby / Python features that are blocking implementation of optimizations (e.g. inline caching) V8 engine has?

Python is co-developed by Google guys so it shouldn"t be blocked by software patents.

Or this is rather matter of resources put into the V8 project by Google.

Answer #1:

What blocks Ruby, Python to get Javascript V8 speed?

Nothing.

Well, okay: money. (And time, people, resources, but if you have money, you can buy those.)

V8 has a team of brilliant, highly-specialized, highly-experienced (and thus highly-paid) engineers working on it, that have decades of experience (I"m talking individually – collectively it"s more like centuries) in creating high-performance execution engines for dynamic OO languages. They are basically the same people who also created the Sun HotSpot JVM (among many others).

Lars Bak, the lead developer, has been literally working on VMs for 25 years (and all of those VMs have lead up to V8), which is basically his entire (professional) life. Some of the people writing Ruby VMs aren"t even 25 years old.

Are there any Ruby / Python features that are blocking implementation of optimizations (e.g. inline caching) V8 engine has?

Given that at least IronRuby, JRuby, MagLev, MacRuby and Rubinius have either monomorphic (IronRuby) or polymorphic inline caching, the answer is obviously no.

Modern Ruby implementations already do a great deal of optimizations. For example, for certain operations, Rubinius"s Hash class is faster than YARV"s. Now, this doesn"t sound terribly exciting until you realize that Rubinius"s Hash class is implemented in 100% pure Ruby, while YARV"s is implemented in 100% hand-optimized C.

So, at least in some cases, Rubinius can generate better code than GCC!

Or this is rather matter of resources put into the V8 project by Google.

Yes. Not just Google. The lineage of V8"s source code is 25 years old now. The people who are working on V8 also created the Self VM (to this day one of the fastest dynamic OO language execution engines ever created), the Animorphic Smalltalk VM (to this day one of the fastest Smalltalk execution engines ever created), the HotSpot JVM (the fastest JVM ever created, probably the fastest VM period) and OOVM (one of the most efficient Smalltalk VMs ever created).

In fact, Lars Bak, the lead developer of V8, worked on every single one of those, plus a few others.

Django Template Variables and Javascript

When I render a page using the Django template renderer, I can pass in a dictionary variable containing various values to manipulate them in the page using {{ myVar }}.

Is there a way to access the same variable in Javascript (perhaps using the DOM, I don"t know how Django makes the variables accessible)? I want to be able to lookup details using an AJAX lookup based on the values contained in the variables passed in.

Answer #1:

The {{variable}} is substituted directly into the HTML. Do a view source; it isn"t a "variable" or anything like it. It"s just rendered text.

Having said that, you can put this kind of substitution into your JavaScript.

<script type="text/javascript"> 
   var a = "{{someDjangoVariable}}";
</script>

This gives you "dynamic" javascript.

Web-scraping JavaScript page with Python

I"m trying to develop a simple web scraper. I want to extract text without the HTML code. In fact, I achieve this goal, but I have seen that in some pages where JavaScript is loaded I didn"t obtain good results.

For example, if some JavaScript code adds some text, I can"t see it, because when I call

response = urllib2.urlopen(request)

I get the original text without the added one (because JavaScript is executed in the client).

So, I"m looking for some ideas to solve this problem.

Answer #1:

EDIT 30/Dec/2017: This answer appears in top results of Google searches, so I decided to update it. The old answer is still at the end.

dryscape isn"t maintained anymore and the library dryscape developers recommend is Python 2 only. I have found using Selenium"s python library with Phantom JS as a web driver fast enough and easy to get the work done.

Once you have installed Phantom JS, make sure the phantomjs binary is available in the current path:

phantomjs --version
# result:
2.1.1

Example

To give an example, I created a sample page with following HTML code. (link):

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html>
<head>
  <meta charset="utf-8">
  <title>Javascript scraping test</title>
</head>
<body>
  <p id="intro-text">No javascript support</p>
  <script>
     document.getElementById("intro-text").innerHTML = "Yay! Supports javascript";
  </script> 
</body>
</html>

without javascript it says: No javascript support and with javascript: Yay! Supports javascript

Scraping without JS support:

import requests
from bs4 import BeautifulSoup
response = requests.get(my_url)
soup = BeautifulSoup(response.text)
soup.find(id="intro-text")
# Result:
<p id="intro-text">No javascript support</p>

Scraping with JS support:

from selenium import webdriver
driver = webdriver.PhantomJS()
driver.get(my_url)
p_element = driver.find_element_by_id(id_="intro-text")
print(p_element.text)
# result:
"Yay! Supports javascript"

You can also use Python library dryscrape to scrape javascript driven websites.

Scraping with JS support:

import dryscrape
from bs4 import BeautifulSoup
session = dryscrape.Session()
session.visit(my_url)
response = session.body()
soup = BeautifulSoup(response)
soup.find(id="intro-text")
# Result:
<p id="intro-text">Yay! Supports javascript</p>

Javascript Domain: StackOverflow Questions

How to get all subsets of a set? (powerset)

Given a set

{0, 1, 2, 3}

How can I produce the subsets:

[set(),
 {0},
 {1},
 {2},
 {3},
 {0, 1},
 {0, 2},
 {0, 3},
 {1, 2},
 {1, 3},
 {2, 3},
 {0, 1, 2},
 {0, 1, 3},
 {0, 2, 3},
 {1, 2, 3},
 {0, 1, 2, 3}]

Answer #1:

The Python itertools page has exactly a powerset recipe for this:

from itertools import chain, combinations

def powerset(iterable):
    "powerset([1,2,3]) --> () (1,) (2,) (3,) (1,2) (1,3) (2,3) (1,2,3)"
    s = list(iterable)
    return chain.from_iterable(combinations(s, r) for r in range(len(s)+1))

Output:

>>> list(powerset("abcd"))
[(), ("a",), ("b",), ("c",), ("d",), ("a", "b"), ("a", "c"), ("a", "d"), ("b", "c"), ("b", "d"), ("c", "d"), ("a", "b", "c"), ("a", "b", "d"), ("a", "c", "d"), ("b", "c", "d"), ("a", "b", "c", "d")]

If you don"t like that empty tuple at the beginning, you can just change the range statement to range(1, len(s)+1) to avoid a 0-length combination.

Javascript Domain: StackOverflow Questions

How to print number with commas as thousands separators?

I am trying to print an integer in Python 2.6.1 with commas as thousands separators. For example, I want to show the number 1234567 as 1,234,567. How would I go about doing this? I have seen many examples on Google, but I am looking for the simplest practical way.

It does not need to be locale-specific to decide between periods and commas. I would prefer something as simple as reasonably possible.

Answer #1:

Locale unaware

"{:,}".format(value)  # For Python ‚â•2.7
f"{value:,}"  # For Python ‚â•3.6

Locale aware

import locale
locale.setlocale(locale.LC_ALL, "")  # Use "" for auto, or force e.g. to "en_US.UTF-8"

"{:n}".format(value)  # For Python ‚â•2.7
f"{value:n}"  # For Python ‚â•3.6

Reference

Per Format Specification Mini-Language,

The "," option signals the use of a comma for a thousands separator. For a locale aware separator, use the "n" integer presentation type instead.

Answer #2:

I got this to work:

>>> import locale
>>> locale.setlocale(locale.LC_ALL, "en_US")
"en_US"
>>> locale.format("%d", 1255000, grouping=True)
"1,255,000"

Sure, you don"t need internationalization support, but it"s clear, concise, and uses a built-in library.

P.S. That "%d" is the usual %-style formatter. You can have only one formatter, but it can be whatever you need in terms of field width and precision settings.

P.P.S. If you can"t get locale to work, I"d suggest a modified version of Mark"s answer:

def intWithCommas(x):
    if type(x) not in [type(0), type(0L)]:
        raise TypeError("Parameter must be an integer.")
    if x < 0:
        return "-" + intWithCommas(-x)
    result = ""
    while x >= 1000:
        x, r = divmod(x, 1000)
        result = ",%03d%s" % (r, result)
    return "%d%s" % (x, result)

Recursion is useful for the negative case, but one recursion per comma seems a bit excessive to me.

Answer #3:

I"m surprised that no one has mentioned that you can do this with f-strings in Python 3.6+ as easy as this:

>>> num = 10000000
>>> print(f"{num:,}")
10,000,000

... where the part after the colon is the format specifier. The comma is the separator character you want, so f"{num:_}" uses underscores instead of a comma. Only "," and "_" is possible to use with this method.

This is equivalent of using format(num, ",") for older versions of python 3.

Answer #4:

For inefficiency and unreadability it"s hard to beat:

>>> import itertools
>>> s = "-1234567"
>>> ",".join(["%s%s%s" % (x[0], x[1] or "", x[2] or "") for x in itertools.izip_longest(s[::-1][::3], s[::-1][1::3], s[::-1][2::3])])[::-1].replace("-,","-")

How would you make a comma-separated string from a list of strings?

Question by mweerden

What would be your preferred way to concatenate strings from a sequence such that between every two consecutive pairs a comma is added. That is, how do you map, for instance, ["a", "b", "c"] to "a,b,c"? (The cases ["s"] and [] should be mapped to "s" and "", respectively.)

I usually end up using something like "".join(map(lambda x: x+",",l))[:-1], but also feeling somewhat unsatisfied.

Answer #1:

my_list = ["a", "b", "c", "d"]
my_string = ",".join(my_list)
"a,b,c,d"

This won"t work if the list contains integers


And if the list contains non-string types (such as integers, floats, bools, None) then do:

my_string = ",".join(map(str, my_list)) 

Javascript Domain: 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.)

Answer #1:

How can I merge two Python dictionaries in a single expression?

For dictionaries x and y, z becomes a shallowly-merged dictionary with values from y replacing those from x.

  • In Python 3.9.0 or greater (released 17 October 2020): PEP-584, discussed here, was implemented and provides the simplest method:

    z = x | y          # NOTE: 3.9+ ONLY
    
  • In Python 3.5 or greater:

    z = {**x, **y}
    
  • In Python 2, (or 3.4 or lower) write a function:

    def merge_two_dicts(x, y):
        z = x.copy()   # start with keys and values of x
        z.update(y)    # modifies z with keys and values of y
        return z
    

    and now:

    z = merge_two_dicts(x, y)
    

Explanation

Say you have two dictionaries and you want to merge them into a new dictionary without altering the original dictionaries:

x = {"a": 1, "b": 2}
y = {"b": 3, "c": 4}

The desired result is to get a new dictionary (z) with the values merged, and the second dictionary"s values overwriting those from the first.

>>> z
{"a": 1, "b": 3, "c": 4}

A new syntax for this, proposed in PEP 448 and available as of Python 3.5, is

z = {**x, **y}

And it is indeed a single expression.

Note that we can merge in with literal notation as well:

z = {**x, "foo": 1, "bar": 2, **y}

and now:

>>> z
{"a": 1, "b": 3, "foo": 1, "bar": 2, "c": 4}

It is now showing as implemented in the release schedule for 3.5, PEP 478, and it has now made its way into the What"s New in Python 3.5 document.

However, since many organizations are still on Python 2, you may wish to do this in a backward-compatible way. The classically Pythonic way, available in Python 2 and Python 3.0-3.4, is to do this as a two-step process:

z = x.copy()
z.update(y) # which returns None since it mutates z

In both approaches, y will come second and its values will replace x"s values, thus b will point to 3 in our final result.

Not yet on Python 3.5, but want a single expression

If you are not yet on Python 3.5 or need to write backward-compatible code, and you want this in a single expression, the most performant while the correct approach is to put it in a function:

def merge_two_dicts(x, y):
    """Given two dictionaries, merge them into a new dict as a shallow copy."""
    z = x.copy()
    z.update(y)
    return z

and then you have a single expression:

z = merge_two_dicts(x, y)

You can also make a function to merge an arbitrary number of dictionaries, from zero to a very large number:

def merge_dicts(*dict_args):
    """
    Given any number of dictionaries, shallow copy and merge into a new dict,
    precedence goes to key-value pairs in latter dictionaries.
    """
    result = {}
    for dictionary in dict_args:
        result.update(dictionary)
    return result

This function will work in Python 2 and 3 for all dictionaries. e.g. given dictionaries a to g:

z = merge_dicts(a, b, c, d, e, f, g) 

and key-value pairs in g will take precedence over dictionaries a to f, and so on.

Critiques of Other Answers

Don"t use what you see in the formerly accepted answer:

z = dict(x.items() + y.items())

In Python 2, you create two lists in memory for each dict, create a third list in memory with length equal to the length of the first two put together, and then discard all three lists to create the dict. In Python 3, this will fail because you"re adding two dict_items objects together, not two lists -

>>> c = dict(a.items() + b.items())
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "<stdin>", line 1, in <module>
TypeError: unsupported operand type(s) for +: "dict_items" and "dict_items"

and you would have to explicitly create them as lists, e.g. z = dict(list(x.items()) + list(y.items())). This is a waste of resources and computation power.

Similarly, taking the union of items() in Python 3 (viewitems() in Python 2.7) will also fail when values are unhashable objects (like lists, for example). Even if your values are hashable, since sets are semantically unordered, the behavior is undefined in regards to precedence. So don"t do this:

>>> c = dict(a.items() | b.items())

This example demonstrates what happens when values are unhashable:

>>> x = {"a": []}
>>> y = {"b": []}
>>> dict(x.items() | y.items())
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "<stdin>", line 1, in <module>
TypeError: unhashable type: "list"

Here"s an example where y should have precedence, but instead the value from x is retained due to the arbitrary order of sets:

>>> x = {"a": 2}
>>> y = {"a": 1}
>>> dict(x.items() | y.items())
{"a": 2}

Another hack you should not use:

z = dict(x, **y)

This uses the dict constructor and is very fast and memory-efficient (even slightly more so than our two-step process) but unless you know precisely what is happening here (that is, the second dict is being passed as keyword arguments to the dict constructor), it"s difficult to read, it"s not the intended usage, and so it is not Pythonic.

Here"s an example of the usage being remediated in django.

Dictionaries are intended to take hashable keys (e.g. frozensets or tuples), but this method fails in Python 3 when keys are not strings.

>>> c = dict(a, **b)
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "<stdin>", line 1, in <module>
TypeError: keyword arguments must be strings

From the mailing list, Guido van Rossum, the creator of the language, wrote:

I am fine with declaring dict({}, **{1:3}) illegal, since after all it is abuse of the ** mechanism.

and

Apparently dict(x, **y) is going around as "cool hack" for "call x.update(y) and return x". Personally, I find it more despicable than cool.

It is my understanding (as well as the understanding of the creator of the language) that the intended usage for dict(**y) is for creating dictionaries for readability purposes, e.g.:

dict(a=1, b=10, c=11)

instead of

{"a": 1, "b": 10, "c": 11}

Response to comments

Despite what Guido says, dict(x, **y) is in line with the dict specification, which btw. works for both Python 2 and 3. The fact that this only works for string keys is a direct consequence of how keyword parameters work and not a short-coming of dict. Nor is using the ** operator in this place an abuse of the mechanism, in fact, ** was designed precisely to pass dictionaries as keywords.

Again, it doesn"t work for 3 when keys are not strings. The implicit calling contract is that namespaces take ordinary dictionaries, while users must only pass keyword arguments that are strings. All other callables enforced it. dict broke this consistency in Python 2:

>>> foo(**{("a", "b"): None})
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "<stdin>", line 1, in <module>
TypeError: foo() keywords must be strings
>>> dict(**{("a", "b"): None})
{("a", "b"): None}

This inconsistency was bad given other implementations of Python (PyPy, Jython, IronPython). Thus it was fixed in Python 3, as this usage could be a breaking change.

I submit to you that it is malicious incompetence to intentionally write code that only works in one version of a language or that only works given certain arbitrary constraints.

More comments:

dict(x.items() + y.items()) is still the most readable solution for Python 2. Readability counts.

My response: merge_two_dicts(x, y) actually seems much clearer to me, if we"re actually concerned about readability. And it is not forward compatible, as Python 2 is increasingly deprecated.

{**x, **y} does not seem to handle nested dictionaries. the contents of nested keys are simply overwritten, not merged [...] I ended up being burnt by these answers that do not merge recursively and I was surprised no one mentioned it. In my interpretation of the word "merging" these answers describe "updating one dict with another", and not merging.

Yes. I must refer you back to the question, which is asking for a shallow merge of two dictionaries, with the first"s values being overwritten by the second"s - in a single expression.

Assuming two dictionaries of dictionaries, one might recursively merge them in a single function, but you should be careful not to modify the dictionaries from either source, and the surest way to avoid that is to make a copy when assigning values. As keys must be hashable and are usually therefore immutable, it is pointless to copy them:

from copy import deepcopy

def dict_of_dicts_merge(x, y):
    z = {}
    overlapping_keys = x.keys() & y.keys()
    for key in overlapping_keys:
        z[key] = dict_of_dicts_merge(x[key], y[key])
    for key in x.keys() - overlapping_keys:
        z[key] = deepcopy(x[key])
    for key in y.keys() - overlapping_keys:
        z[key] = deepcopy(y[key])
    return z

Usage:

>>> x = {"a":{1:{}}, "b": {2:{}}}
>>> y = {"b":{10:{}}, "c": {11:{}}}
>>> dict_of_dicts_merge(x, y)
{"b": {2: {}, 10: {}}, "a": {1: {}}, "c": {11: {}}}

Coming up with contingencies for other value types is far beyond the scope of this question, so I will point you at my answer to the canonical question on a "Dictionaries of dictionaries merge".

Less Performant But Correct Ad-hocs

These approaches are less performant, but they will provide correct behavior. They will be much less performant than copy and update or the new unpacking because they iterate through each key-value pair at a higher level of abstraction, but they do respect the order of precedence (latter dictionaries have precedence)

You can also chain the dictionaries manually inside a dict comprehension:

{k: v for d in dicts for k, v in d.items()} # iteritems in Python 2.7

or in Python 2.6 (and perhaps as early as 2.4 when generator expressions were introduced):

dict((k, v) for d in dicts for k, v in d.items()) # iteritems in Python 2

itertools.chain will chain the iterators over the key-value pairs in the correct order:

from itertools import chain
z = dict(chain(x.items(), y.items())) # iteritems in Python 2

Performance Analysis

I"m only going to do the performance analysis of the usages known to behave correctly. (Self-contained so you can copy and paste yourself.)

from timeit import repeat
from itertools import chain

x = dict.fromkeys("abcdefg")
y = dict.fromkeys("efghijk")

def merge_two_dicts(x, y):
    z = x.copy()
    z.update(y)
    return z

min(repeat(lambda: {**x, **y}))
min(repeat(lambda: merge_two_dicts(x, y)))
min(repeat(lambda: {k: v for d in (x, y) for k, v in d.items()}))
min(repeat(lambda: dict(chain(x.items(), y.items()))))
min(repeat(lambda: dict(item for d in (x, y) for item in d.items())))

In Python 3.8.1, NixOS:

>>> min(repeat(lambda: {**x, **y}))
1.0804965235292912
>>> min(repeat(lambda: merge_two_dicts(x, y)))
1.636518670246005
>>> min(repeat(lambda: {k: v for d in (x, y) for k, v in d.items()}))
3.1779992282390594
>>> min(repeat(lambda: dict(chain(x.items(), y.items()))))
2.740647904574871
>>> min(repeat(lambda: dict(item for d in (x, y) for item in d.items())))
4.266070580109954
$ uname -a
Linux nixos 4.19.113 #1-NixOS SMP Wed Mar 25 07:06:15 UTC 2020 x86_64 GNU/Linux

Resources on Dictionaries

Answer #2:

In your case, what you can do is:

z = dict(list(x.items()) + list(y.items()))

This will, as you want it, put the final dict in z, and make the value for key b be properly overridden by the second (y) dict"s value:

>>> x = {"a":1, "b": 2}
>>> y = {"b":10, "c": 11}
>>> z = dict(list(x.items()) + list(y.items()))
>>> z
{"a": 1, "c": 11, "b": 10}

If you use Python 2, you can even remove the list() calls. To create z:

>>> z = dict(x.items() + y.items())
>>> z
{"a": 1, "c": 11, "b": 10}

If you use Python version 3.9.0a4 or greater, then you can directly use:

x = {"a":1, "b": 2}
y = {"b":10, "c": 11}
z = x | y
print(z)
{"a": 1, "c": 11, "b": 10}

Answer #3:

An alternative:

z = x.copy()
z.update(y)

Answer #4:

Another, more concise, option:

z = dict(x, **y)

Note: this has become a popular answer, but it is important to point out that if y has any non-string keys, the fact that this works at all is an abuse of a CPython implementation detail, and it does not work in Python 3, or in PyPy, IronPython, or Jython. Also, Guido is not a fan. So I can"t recommend this technique for forward-compatible or cross-implementation portable code, which really means it should be avoided entirely.

Answer #5:

This probably won"t be a popular answer, but you almost certainly do not want to do this. If you want a copy that"s a merge, then use copy (or deepcopy, depending on what you want) and then update. The two lines of code are much more readable - more Pythonic - than the single line creation with .items() + .items(). Explicit is better than implicit.

In addition, when you use .items() (pre Python 3.0), you"re creating a new list that contains the items from the dict. If your dictionaries are large, then that is quite a lot of overhead (two large lists that will be thrown away as soon as the merged dict is created). update() can work more efficiently, because it can run through the second dict item-by-item.

In terms of time:

>>> timeit.Timer("dict(x, **y)", "x = dict(zip(range(1000), range(1000)))
y=dict(zip(range(1000,2000), range(1000,2000)))").timeit(100000)
15.52571702003479
>>> timeit.Timer("temp = x.copy()
temp.update(y)", "x = dict(zip(range(1000), range(1000)))
y=dict(zip(range(1000,2000), range(1000,2000)))").timeit(100000)
15.694622993469238
>>> timeit.Timer("dict(x.items() + y.items())", "x = dict(zip(range(1000), range(1000)))
y=dict(zip(range(1000,2000), range(1000,2000)))").timeit(100000)
41.484580039978027

IMO the tiny slowdown between the first two is worth it for the readability. In addition, keyword arguments for dictionary creation was only added in Python 2.3, whereas copy() and update() will work in older versions.

Javascript Domain: StackOverflow Questions

Why is reading lines from stdin much slower in C++ than Python?

I wanted to compare reading lines of string input from stdin using Python and C++ and was shocked to see my C++ code run an order of magnitude slower than the equivalent Python code. Since my C++ is rusty and I"m not yet an expert Pythonista, please tell me if I"m doing something wrong or if I"m misunderstanding something.


(TLDR answer: include the statement: cin.sync_with_stdio(false) or just use fgets instead.

TLDR results: scroll all the way down to the bottom of my question and look at the table.)


C++ code:

#include <iostream>
#include <time.h>

using namespace std;

int main() {
    string input_line;
    long line_count = 0;
    time_t start = time(NULL);
    int sec;
    int lps;

    while (cin) {
        getline(cin, input_line);
        if (!cin.eof())
            line_count++;
    };

    sec = (int) time(NULL) - start;
    cerr << "Read " << line_count << " lines in " << sec << " seconds.";
    if (sec > 0) {
        lps = line_count / sec;
        cerr << " LPS: " << lps << endl;
    } else
        cerr << endl;
    return 0;
}

// Compiled with:
// g++ -O3 -o readline_test_cpp foo.cpp

Python Equivalent:

#!/usr/bin/env python
import time
import sys

count = 0
start = time.time()

for line in  sys.stdin:
    count += 1

delta_sec = int(time.time() - start_time)
if delta_sec >= 0:
    lines_per_sec = int(round(count/delta_sec))
    print("Read {0} lines in {1} seconds. LPS: {2}".format(count, delta_sec,
       lines_per_sec))

Here are my results:

$ cat test_lines | ./readline_test_cpp
Read 5570000 lines in 9 seconds. LPS: 618889

$ cat test_lines | ./readline_test.py
Read 5570000 lines in 1 seconds. LPS: 5570000

I should note that I tried this both under Mac OS X v10.6.8 (Snow Leopard) and Linux 2.6.32 (Red Hat Linux 6.2). The former is a MacBook Pro, and the latter is a very beefy server, not that this is too pertinent.

$ for i in {1..5}; do echo "Test run $i at `date`"; echo -n "CPP:"; cat test_lines | ./readline_test_cpp ; echo -n "Python:"; cat test_lines | ./readline_test.py ; done
Test run 1 at Mon Feb 20 21:29:28 EST 2012
CPP:   Read 5570001 lines in 9 seconds. LPS: 618889
Python:Read 5570000 lines in 1 seconds. LPS: 5570000
Test run 2 at Mon Feb 20 21:29:39 EST 2012
CPP:   Read 5570001 lines in 9 seconds. LPS: 618889
Python:Read 5570000 lines in 1 seconds. LPS: 5570000
Test run 3 at Mon Feb 20 21:29:50 EST 2012
CPP:   Read 5570001 lines in 9 seconds. LPS: 618889
Python:Read 5570000 lines in 1 seconds. LPS: 5570000
Test run 4 at Mon Feb 20 21:30:01 EST 2012
CPP:   Read 5570001 lines in 9 seconds. LPS: 618889
Python:Read 5570000 lines in 1 seconds. LPS: 5570000
Test run 5 at Mon Feb 20 21:30:11 EST 2012
CPP:   Read 5570001 lines in 10 seconds. LPS: 557000
Python:Read 5570000 lines in  1 seconds. LPS: 5570000

Tiny benchmark addendum and recap

For completeness, I thought I"d update the read speed for the same file on the same box with the original (synced) C++ code. Again, this is for a 100M line file on a fast disk. Here"s the comparison, with several solutions/approaches:

Implementation Lines per second
python (default) 3,571,428
cin (default/naive) 819,672
cin (no sync) 12,500,000
fgets 14,285,714
wc (not fair comparison) 54,644,808

Answer #1:

tl;dr: Because of different default settings in C++ requiring more system calls.

By default, cin is synchronized with stdio, which causes it to avoid any input buffering. If you add this to the top of your main, you should see much better performance:

std::ios_base::sync_with_stdio(false);

Normally, when an input stream is buffered, instead of reading one character at a time, the stream will be read in larger chunks. This reduces the number of system calls, which are typically relatively expensive. However, since the FILE* based stdio and iostreams often have separate implementations and therefore separate buffers, this could lead to a problem if both were used together. For example:

int myvalue1;
cin >> myvalue1;
int myvalue2;
scanf("%d",&myvalue2);

If more input was read by cin than it actually needed, then the second integer value wouldn"t be available for the scanf function, which has its own independent buffer. This would lead to unexpected results.

To avoid this, by default, streams are synchronized with stdio. One common way to achieve this is to have cin read each character one at a time as needed using stdio functions. Unfortunately, this introduces a lot of overhead. For small amounts of input, this isn"t a big problem, but when you are reading millions of lines, the performance penalty is significant.

Fortunately, the library designers decided that you should also be able to disable this feature to get improved performance if you knew what you were doing, so they provided the sync_with_stdio method.

Answer #2:

Just out of curiosity I"ve taken a look at what happens under the hood, and I"ve used dtruss/strace on each test.

C++

./a.out < in
Saw 6512403 lines in 8 seconds.  Crunch speed: 814050

syscalls sudo dtruss -c ./a.out < in

CALL                                        COUNT
__mac_syscall                                   1
<snip>
open                                            6
pread                                           8
mprotect                                       17
mmap                                           22
stat64                                         30
read_nocancel                               25958

Python

./a.py < in
Read 6512402 lines in 1 seconds. LPS: 6512402

syscalls sudo dtruss -c ./a.py < in

CALL                                        COUNT
__mac_syscall                                   1
<snip>
open                                            5
pread                                           8
mprotect                                       17
mmap                                           21
stat64                                         29

Answer #3:

I"m a few years behind here, but:

In "Edit 4/5/6" of the original post, you are using the construction:

$ /usr/bin/time cat big_file | program_to_benchmark

This is wrong in a couple of different ways:

  1. You"re actually timing the execution of cat, not your benchmark. The "user" and "sys" CPU usage displayed by time are those of cat, not your benchmarked program. Even worse, the "real" time is also not necessarily accurate. Depending on the implementation of cat and of pipelines in your local OS, it is possible that cat writes a final giant buffer and exits long before the reader process finishes its work.

  2. Use of cat is unnecessary and in fact counterproductive; you"re adding moving parts. If you were on a sufficiently old system (i.e. with a single CPU and -- in certain generations of computers -- I/O faster than CPU) -- the mere fact that cat was running could substantially color the results. You are also subject to whatever input and output buffering and other processing cat may do. (This would likely earn you a "Useless Use Of Cat" award if I were Randal Schwartz.

A better construction would be:

$ /usr/bin/time program_to_benchmark < big_file

In this statement it is the shell which opens big_file, passing it to your program (well, actually to time which then executes your program as a subprocess) as an already-open file descriptor. 100% of the file reading is strictly the responsibility of the program you"re trying to benchmark. This gets you a real reading of its performance without spurious complications.

I will mention two possible, but actually wrong, "fixes" which could also be considered (but I "number" them differently as these are not things which were wrong in the original post):

A. You could "fix" this by timing only your program:

$ cat big_file | /usr/bin/time program_to_benchmark

B. or by timing the entire pipeline:

$ /usr/bin/time sh -c "cat big_file | program_to_benchmark"

These are wrong for the same reasons as #2: they"re still using cat unnecessarily. I mention them for a few reasons:

  • they"re more "natural" for people who aren"t entirely comfortable with the I/O redirection facilities of the POSIX shell

  • there may be cases where cat is needed (e.g.: the file to be read requires some sort of privilege to access, and you do not want to grant that privilege to the program to be benchmarked: sudo cat /dev/sda | /usr/bin/time my_compression_test --no-output)

  • in practice, on modern machines, the added cat in the pipeline is probably of no real consequence.

But I say that last thing with some hesitation. If we examine the last result in "Edit 5" --

$ /usr/bin/time cat temp_big_file | wc -l
0.01user 1.34system 0:01.83elapsed 74%CPU ...

-- this claims that cat consumed 74% of the CPU during the test; and indeed 1.34/1.83 is approximately 74%. Perhaps a run of:

$ /usr/bin/time wc -l < temp_big_file

would have taken only the remaining .49 seconds! Probably not: cat here had to pay for the read() system calls (or equivalent) which transferred the file from "disk" (actually buffer cache), as well as the pipe writes to deliver them to wc. The correct test would still have had to do those read() calls; only the write-to-pipe and read-from-pipe calls would have been saved, and those should be pretty cheap.

Still, I predict you would be able to measure the difference between cat file | wc -l and wc -l < file and find a noticeable (2-digit percentage) difference. Each of the slower tests will have paid a similar penalty in absolute time; which would however amount to a smaller fraction of its larger total time.

In fact I did some quick tests with a 1.5 gigabyte file of garbage, on a Linux 3.13 (Ubuntu 14.04) system, obtaining these results (these are actually "best of 3" results; after priming the cache, of course):

$ time wc -l < /tmp/junk
real 0.280s user 0.156s sys 0.124s (total cpu 0.280s)
$ time cat /tmp/junk | wc -l
real 0.407s user 0.157s sys 0.618s (total cpu 0.775s)
$ time sh -c "cat /tmp/junk | wc -l"
real 0.411s user 0.118s sys 0.660s (total cpu 0.778s)

Notice that the two pipeline results claim to have taken more CPU time (user+sys) than real wall-clock time. This is because I"m using the shell (bash)"s built-in "time" command, which is cognizant of the pipeline; and I"m on a multi-core machine where separate processes in a pipeline can use separate cores, accumulating CPU time faster than realtime. Using /usr/bin/time I see smaller CPU time than realtime -- showing that it can only time the single pipeline element passed to it on its command line. Also, the shell"s output gives milliseconds while /usr/bin/time only gives hundredths of a second.

So at the efficiency level of wc -l, the cat makes a huge difference: 409 / 283 = 1.453 or 45.3% more realtime, and 775 / 280 = 2.768, or a whopping 177% more CPU used! On my random it-was-there-at-the-time test box.

I should add that there is at least one other significant difference between these styles of testing, and I can"t say whether it is a benefit or fault; you have to decide this yourself:

When you run cat big_file | /usr/bin/time my_program, your program is receiving input from a pipe, at precisely the pace sent by cat, and in chunks no larger than written by cat.

When you run /usr/bin/time my_program < big_file, your program receives an open file descriptor to the actual file. Your program -- or in many cases the I/O libraries of the language in which it was written -- may take different actions when presented with a file descriptor referencing a regular file. It may use mmap(2) to map the input file into its address space, instead of using explicit read(2) system calls. These differences could have a far larger effect on your benchmark results than the small cost of running the cat binary.

Of course it is an interesting benchmark result if the same program performs significantly differently between the two cases. It shows that, indeed, the program or its I/O libraries are doing something interesting, like using mmap(). So in practice it might be good to run the benchmarks both ways; perhaps discounting the cat result by some small factor to "forgive" the cost of running cat itself.

How do you read from stdin?

I"m trying to do some of the code golf challenges, but they all require the input to be taken from stdin. How do I get that in Python?

Answer #1:

You could use the fileinput module:

import fileinput

for line in fileinput.input():
    pass

fileinput will loop through all the lines in the input specified as file names given in command-line arguments, or the standard input if no arguments are provided.

Note: line will contain a trailing newline; to remove it use line.rstrip()

Answer #2:

There"s a few ways to do it.

  • sys.stdin is a file-like object on which you can call functions read or readlines if you want to read everything or you want to read everything and split it by newline automatically. (You need to import sys for this to work.)

  • If you want to prompt the user for input, you can use raw_input in Python 2.X, and just input in Python 3.

  • If you actually just want to read command-line options, you can access them via the sys.argv list.

You will probably find this Wikibook article on I/O in Python to be a useful reference as well.

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