Why shouldn't you put config options in py files

Chris Rebert clp at rebertia.com
Thu Dec 4 20:48:28 CET 2008

On Thu, Dec 4, 2008 at 11:35 AM, HT <ht at example.com> wrote:
> A colleague of mine is arguing that since it is easy to write config like:
> FOO = {'bar': ('a': 'b'), 'abc': ('z': 'x')}

I'll assume you meant ('a', 'b') as colons in parens don't make sense.

> in config.py and just import it to get FOO, but difficult to achieve the
> same using an ini file and ConfigParser, and since Python files are just
> text, we should just write the config options in the Python file and
> import it.
> I can think of lots of arguments why this is a bad idea, but I don't
> seem to be able to think of a really convincing one.
> Anyone?

Well, it is pretty weird to be allowed to put arbitrary code in a mere
config file.
Have you considered using JSON for the config file format instead? It
shares Python's syntax for literals, so you could do:

$ cat config.json
"FOO": { "bar": ["a", "b"],
             "abc": ["z", "x"] }

Note that the whitespace doesn't matter.
Also, you can use Python's built-on `json` module to parse the file.


Follow the path of the Iguana...

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