Verbosity Check Style

Mark Bottjer mark_bottjer at
Fri Aug 13 01:47:51 CEST 2004

Dan Sommers wrote:
> On Thu, 12 Aug 2004 11:23:49 -0400, <brianc at> wrote:
>>I would like to get people's views on the best way to implement
>>verbosity (or any command-line option) into python scripts.
> Use the logging module (new in 2.3).  I think that verbosity equates to
> the INFO level.

Not always. Many programs have multiple levels of informative verbosity, 
where each level exposes "more" information. Of course, the additional 
information can be viewed as DEBUG, but there can be multiple levels of 
that, too.

Even if you want more than one level of verbosity, you can still use the 
logging module (or any other facility, for that matter). I use a Verbose 
class, which I pass an instance of to anything in my code which wants to 
log something. A simplified version would be:

class Verbose:
   import sys as __sys
   def __init__(self, verbosity = 0, log = __sys.stderr):
     self.__vebosity = verbosity
     self.__log = log
   def __call__(self, verbosity, msg):
     if verbosity >= self.__verbosity:
       print >>self.__log, '*' * verbosity, msg

if __name__ == '__main__':
   # Test
   import sys
   verbose = Verbose(4, sys.stdout)
   verbose(1, "Level one message.")
   verbose(3, "Level three message.")
   verbose(5, "Level five message.")

Which gives the following output when imported:

* Level one message.
*** Level three message.

The nice thing here is that, once you've got it in a class, you can 
subclass it. This allows you to add helper methods to make logging 
certain types of information easier, or to support different types of 
logger. You can even use it to switch at runtime between using the 
logger module, dumping straight to a stream, or both.

I find it to be quite flexible.

   -- Mark

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