[portland] Using Dictionary to Call Functions

Matt McCredie mccredie at gmail.com
Tue Jan 15 02:59:11 CET 2008

>    I've read in the Python Cookbook and various web sites the information on
> using a dictionary as a switch statement would be used in C. But, I've not
> seen -- or figured out -- how to call the keys correctly while passing
> arguments to the called function. Let me explain.
>    The dictionary:
>      curvePlot = {
>        'Decay S-Curve'     : functions.zCurve(leftEdge, rightEdge),
>        'Bell Curve'        : functions.gaussCurve(midpt, width),
>        'Growth S-Curve'    : functions.sCurve(leftEdge, rightEdge),
>        'Beta'              : functions.betaCurve(center, inflectPt, width),
>        'Data'              : functions.dataCurve(ptList),
>        'Linear Increasing' : functions.linearIncrCurve(leftEdge, rightEdge),
>        'Linear Decreasing' : functions.linearDecrCurve(leftEdge, rightEdge),
>        'Left Shoulder'     : functions.leftShoulderCurve(hiRight, loRight),
>        'Trapezoid'         : functions.trapezoidCurve(loLeft, hiLeft, hiRight, loRight),
>        'Right Shoulder'    : functions.rightShoulderCurve(loLeft, hiLeft, hiRight),
>        'Triangle'          : functions.triangleCurve(loLeft, center, loRight),
>        'Singleton'         : functions.singletonCurve(center, width),
>        'Rectangle'         : functions.rectangleCurve(leftEdge, rightEdge),
>        'Outcome'           : functions.outcomeCurve()
>        }
>    For each tuple in the list (from a database table) there is a value
> called 'shape.' This is the dictionary's key. The arguments are also values
> in each tuple, and they differ for each function call.
>    I want to get the dictionary keys in sequential order (there may be 1 to
> 7), and call the appropriate function for each one. The functions use
> mathplotlib to draw the curves on a common set of axes.

I'm a little confused about what you are trying to do. What it sounds
like to me is that you have a list of tuples as follows:

    ('Decay S-Curve' ,leftEdge, rightEdge),
    ('Bell Curve', midpt, width),
    ('Growth S-Curve', leftEdge, rightEdge),
    ('Beta', inflectPt, width),

Or maybe it looks more like this:
    ('Decay S-Curve' , (leftEdge, rightEdge)),
    ('Bell Curve', (midpt, width)),
    ('Growth S-Curve', (leftEdge, rightEdge)),
    ('Beta', (inflectPt, width)),

And you want to call the functions that correspond to the shape names
with the values from the database. lets assume the list of names and
arguments is called funcs_to_call. Your code should look something
like this:

# Notice that I'm not actually calling the functions!
curvePlot = {
    'Decay S-Curve'     : functions.zCurve
    'Bell Curve'        : functions.gaussCurve
    'Growth S-Curve'    : functions.sCurve
    'Beta'              : functions.betaCurve
    'Data'              : functions.dataCurve
    'Linear Increasing' : functions.linearIncrCurve
    'Linear Decreasing' : functions.linearDecrCurve
    'Left Shoulder'     : functions.leftShoulderCurve
    'Trapezoid'         : functions.trapezoidCurve
    'Right Shoulder'    : functions.rightShoulderCurve
    'Triangle'          : functions.triangleCurve
    'Singleton'         : functions.singletonCurve
    'Rectangle'         : functions.rectangleCurve
    'Outcome'           : functions.outcomeCurve

# assuming that funcs_to_call is in the first form:
for shape_args in funcs_to_call:
    shape = shape_args[0]
    args = shape_args[1:]

# assuming that funcs_to_call is in the second form:
for shape, args in funcs_to_call:



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