Array of dict or lists or ....?

Pat Pat at
Wed Oct 8 04:15:54 CEST 2008

Dennis Lee Bieber wrote:
> On Mon, 06 Oct 2008 19:45:07 -0400, Pat <Pat at> declaimed the
> following in comp.lang.python:
>> I can't figure out how to set up a Python data structure to read in data 
>> that looks something like this (albeit somewhat simplified and contrived):
>> States
>>     Counties
>>       Schools
>>         Classes
>>            Max Allowed Students
>>            Current enrolled Students
>> Nebraska, Wabash, Newville, Math, 20, 0
>> Nebraska, Wabash, Newville, Gym, 400, 0
>> Nebraska, Tingo,  Newfille, Gym, 400, 0
>> Ohio, Dinger, OldSchool, English, 10, 0
> 	<snip>

> The structure looks more suited to a database -- maybe SQLite since
> the interface is supplied with the newer versions of Python (and
> available for older versions).

I don't understand why I need a database when it should just be a matter 
of defining the data structure.  I used a fictional example to make it 
easier to (hopefully) convey how the data is laid out.

One of the routines in the actual program checks a few thousand 
computers to verify that certain processes are running.  I didn't want 
to complicate my original question by going through all of the gory 
details (multiple userids running many processes with some of the 
processes having the same name).  To save time, I fork a process for 
each computer that I'm checking.  It seems to me that banging away at a 
database would greatly slow down the program and make the program more 

The Perl routine works fine and I'd like to emulate that behavior but 
since I've just starting learning Python I don't know the syntax for 
designing the data structure.  I would really appreciate it if someone 
could point me in the right direction.

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