The Python Way for module configuration?

Carl Banks pavlovevidence at
Sun Jun 28 00:04:51 EDT 2009

On Jun 27, 3:18 pm, kj <no.em... at> wrote:
> In <c91011ad-b52c-4fb7-8e2c-1de165636... at> Aaron Sherman <aaronjsher... at> writes:
> >On Jun 27, 4:38=A0pm, MRAB <pyt... at> wrote:
> >> > I would appreciate your comments and suggestions.
> >> There are already modules which provide access to databases.
> >As you can see the "Python Way" is to be rude ;-)
> >Anyway, your answer is that there are some abstraction layers called
> >"ORMs". You can grab one of these and write a back end for it.
> >However, you might first want to look at SQLLite and see if it already
> >has what you want (e.g. a light-weight, zero-install database
> >interface).
> Hi, thanks, but the database aspect of my question is tangential.
> What I'm interested in is the general problem of providing
> configuration parameters to a module.

The best way to do this totally depends on how complex these
parameters are.

Are they simple one-to-one key-value pairs?  Then the frontend should
explose a dict interface.  There are probably existing third-party
libraries that expose dict-like interfaces to all of your imagined
Check, and also Python cookbook.

If the configuration is more complex, such as if it is hierarchical,
if it includes many-to-many relationships, if it is graph-like, then a
more sophisticated frontend will be needed.  For these situations I
second the recommendation to consider an ORM (such as SqlAlchemy).  I
am not aware of any ORMs that can use SQL, XML, and tab-delimited text
all as backends, though.  I am not a big database guy though.

Also, I exhort to you consider whether you really need so many
different backends for a configuration file.  Might your time be
better spent improving some other aspect of your application?

Carl Banks

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