Browsing text ; Python the right tool?

Jeff Shannon jeff at
Tue Jan 25 19:46:54 EST 2005

Paul Kooistra wrote:

> 1. Does anybody now of a generic tool (not necessarily Python based)
> that does the job I've outlined?
> 2. If not, is there some framework or widget in Python I can adapt to
> do what I want?

Not that I know of, but...

> 3. If not, should I consider building all this just from scratch in
> Python - which would probably mean not only learning Python, but some
> other GUI related modules?

This should be pretty easy.  If each record is CRLF terminated, then 
you can get one record at a time simply by iterating over the file 
("for line in open('myfile.dat'): ...").  You can have a dictionary of 
classes or factory functions, one for each record type, keyed off of 
the 2-character identifier.  Each class/factory would know the layout 
of that record type, and return a(n) instance/dictionary with fields 
separated out into attributes/items.

The trickiest part would be in displaying the data; you could 
potentially use COM to insert it into a Word or Excel document, or 
code your own GUI in Python.  The former would be pretty easy if 
you're happy with fairly simple formatting; the latter would require a 
bit more effort, but if you used one of Python's RAD tools (Boa 
Constructor, or maybe PythonCard, as examples) you'd be able to get 
very nice results.

Jeff Shannon
Credit International

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