[Numpy-discussion] function name as parameter

Dag Sverre Seljebotn dagss@student.matnat.uio...
Thu Oct 21 01:50:18 CDT 2010

Johann Cohen-Tanugi wrote:
> On 10/20/2010 11:10 PM, Robert Kern wrote:
>> On Wed, Oct 20, 2010 at 15:58, Johann Cohen-Tanugi<cohen@lpta.in2p3.fr>  wrote:
>>> On 10/20/2010 10:35 PM, Nathaniel Smith wrote:
>>>> IMPORTANT USAGE NOTE: never do this :-)
>>> What would you recommand? I do encounter situations where I need
>>> instantiation based on the name of the thing to instantiate, typically
>>> passed as an argument by the client code/user.....
>> Example?
> Hi Robert,
> so in a big data analysis framework, that is essentially written in C++, 
> exposed to python with SWIG, plus dedicated python modules, the user 
> performs an analysis choosing some given modules by name,as in :
> myOpt="foo"
> my_analyse.perform(use_optimizer=myOpt)
> The attribute use_optimizer is then checked to perform the right 
> calls/instantiations of python but also C++ objects..... and the actual 
> crunching number is in the C++ part.
> But then I realize that I need to tweak this optimizer's state, and the 
> optimizer object is accessible from a library pyOpt that has been 
> swigified from a C++ library.
> Then I access the object by calling optObject = 
> eval("pyOpt.%s(some_args)"%myOpt)
> where myOpt would be "foo" in this particular analysis. This is because 
> what the attribute use_optimizer expects is also the object name in the 
> library, of course.
> It goes without saying that I could do :
> if myOpt=="foo":
>      optObject=pyOpt.foo(some_args)
> else:
>      ....
> and if you guys tell me it is way safer, I will do that instead of the 
> use of eval that I liked because of the compactness.....

In this case getattr fits... in general, in cases where one could do

if action == 'a':
elif action == 'b':

the nice (proper?) way of doing it is usually to populate a dictionary:

actions['a'] = a
actions['b'] = b
# automatically populate etc...


And on the subject of passing strings around and eval-ing them:


Dag Sverre

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