Legacy data parsing

Christopher Subich spam.csubich+block at block.subich.spam.com
Fri Jul 8 21:50:46 CEST 2005

gov wrote:
> Hi,
> I've just started to learn programming and was told this was a good
> place to ask questions :)
> Where I work, we receive large quantities of data which is currently
> all printed on large, obsolete, dot matrix printers.  This is a problem
> because the replacement parts will not be available for much longer.
> So I'm trying to create a program which will capture the fixed width
> text file data and convert as well as sort the data (there are several
> different report types) into a different format which would allow it to
> be printed normally, or viewed on a computer.

Are these reports all of the same page-wise format, with fixed-width 
columns?  If so, then the suggestion about a state machine sounds good 
-- just run a state machine to figure out which linetype you're on, then 
extract the fixed width fields via slices.

name = line[x:y]

If that doesn't work, then pyparsing or DParser might work for you as a 
more general-purpose parser.

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