Is Python Suitable for Large Find & Replace Operations?

Brian desertgarden at
Tue Jun 14 04:10:10 CEST 2005

Hi Rbt,

To give an example of processing a lot of data, I used Python to read 
and process every word in a single text file that contained the entire 
King James Bible version.  It processed it within about one second -- 
split the words, etc.  Worked quite well.

Hope this helps,


rbt wrote:
> Here's the scenario:
> You have many hundred gigabytes of data... possible even a terabyte or 
> two. Within this data, you have private, sensitive information (US 
> social security numbers) about your company's clients. Your company has 
> generated its own unique ID numbers to replace the social security numbers.
> Now, management would like the IT guys to go thru the old data and 
> replace as many SSNs with the new ID numbers as possible. You have a tab 
> delimited txt file that maps the SSNs to the new ID numbers. There are 
> 500,000 of these number pairs. What is the most efficient way  to 
> approach this? I have done small-scale find and replace programs before, 
> but the scale of this is larger than what I'm accustomed to.
> Any suggestions on how to approach this are much appreciated.

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