Using String for new List name

nn pruebauno at
Tue Sep 29 16:15:34 CEST 2009

On Sep 28, 7:37 pm, Scott <scott.freem... at> wrote:
> On Sep 28, 2:00 pm, Dave Angel <da... at> wrote:
> > Scott wrote:
> > > Thank you fine folks for getting back with your answers!
> > > So down the road I do dictname[line42].append("new stuff"). (or [var]
> > > if I'm looping through the dict)
> > Nope, you still haven't gotten it.  Of course, I really don't know where
> > you're going wrong, since you didn't use the same symbols as any of the
> > responses you had gotten.
> > I suspect that you meant dictname[] to be the dictionary that Duncan
> > called values[].  On that assumption, in order to append, you'd want
> > something like:
> > values["line42"].append("new stuff")
> >      or
> > values[var].append("new stuff") if you happen to have a variable called
> > var with a value of "line42".
> > You will need to get a firm grasp on the distinctions between symbol
> > names, literals, and values.  And although Python lets you blur these in
> > some pretty bizarre ways, you haven't a chance of understanding those
> > unless you learn how to play by the rules first.  I'd suggest your first
> > goal should be to come up with better naming conventions.  And when
> > asking questions here, try for more meaningful data than "Line42" to
> > make your point.
> > Suppose a text file called "customers.txt" has on each line a name and
> > some data.  We want to initialize an (empty)  list for each of those
> > customers, and refer to it by the customer's name.  At first glance we
> > might seem to want to initialize a variable for each customer, but our
> > program doesn't know any of the names ahead of time, so it's much better
> > to have some form of collection. We choose a dictionary.
> > transactions = {}
> > with open("customers.txt") as infile:
> >     for line in infile:
> >         fields = line.split()
> >         customername = fields[0]            #customer is first thing on
> > the line
> >         transactions[customername] = []       #this is where we'll put
> > the transactions at some later point, for this customer
> > Now, if our program happens to have a special case for a single
> > customer, we might have in our program something like:
> >     transactions["mayor"].append("boots")
> > But more likely, we'll be in a loop, working through another file:
> > .....
> >         for line in otherfile:
> >                fields = line.split()
> >                customername = fields[0]
> >                transaction = fields[1]
> > transactions[customername].append(transaction)                #append
> > one transaction
> > or interacting:
> >       name = raw_input("Customer name")
> >       trans = raw_input("transaction for that customer")
> >       transactions[name].append(trans)
> Dave,
> I'm amazed at everyone's willingness to share and teach! I will sure
> do the same once I have the experience.
> I think that one of the problems here is that I tried to make my
> initial question as bone simple as possible. When I first tried to
> explain what I was doing I was getting up to 2 pages and I thought "I
> bet these folks don't need to read my program. They probably just need
> to know the one bit I'm looking for." So I deleted it all and reduced
> it to the 10 line example that I posted.
> It was then suggested that I eschew using regular expressions when not
> required because I used Y = re.split(" ", X) in my example. In my
> program it is actually aclLs = re.split("\s|:|/", aclS) which I think
> requires a regex. I just didn't want anyone to waste their time
> parsing the regex when it was not really germane to my actual
> question.
> The same applies to the suggestion for using meaningful variables. In
> the above aclLs represents (to me) "access control list List-Split"
> and aclS represents "access control list String." Again, I thought X
> and Y, like foo and bar or spam and eggs would do for a simple
> example.
> Of course I then went and forgot the quotes around "line42" and really
> looked confused. I was so excited to have an answer that I typed the
> reply without thinking it through. Not good.
> Don't worry though, I take no offense. I understand and welcome the
> advice. I don't have anyone to work with and this post is my first
> interaction with any person who knows programming and Python. I am but
> a network engineer (Cisco, Lan/Wan, firewalls, security, monitoring
> (this is the connection), etc.) who has never programmed. I will work
> on clearer communications in future posts.
> I'm happy for a chance to share what I am actually trying to
> accomplish here.
> I have a firewall with a static list of access-control-list (ACL)
> rules (about 500 rules). I also have a directory with one week of
> syslog output from the firewall. About 100 text files that are each
> about 10 to 30 MB in size.
> My quest, if you will, is to create a list of syslog entries, each
> representing a successful network connection, with each syslog entry
> listed under the access-list rule that allowed it.
> Since ACL rules can be written with a range of granularity, i.e. loose
> or tight, with or without Port Number, etc., their order is important.
> A firewall scans the rules in order, using the first successful match.
> I have 18 varieties of ACL rule to deal with. Furthermore Cisco
> sometimes outputs a Protocol Port Name string instead of a numeric
> Port Number so I had to write a function to translate every Port to
> its numeric equivalent.
> I have written a function that takes each ACL rule and generates a
> regex that matches that rule based on several factors including the
> value of the Subnet Mask. E.g.:
> Rule:
> access-list cramer line 54 extended permit tcp
> host eq 1433 (hitcnt=0) 0xc3fbbb5c
> Regex:
> tcp.*cramer:192\.168\..*10\.1\.0\.195/1433
> And an example log to match against:
> 2009-09-21 12:10:04        sep 21 2009 12:10:03 fwsm :
> %fwsm-6-302013: built inbound tcp connection 146034729239394289 for
> cramer: ( to lab:
> (
> Writing that was a lot of fun. Ouch, my brain.
> Next I iterate across all of the log files saving successful network
> connections while filtering out remarks, denials, duplicates, etc.
> Now I take the selected logs and test them with the Rule regexes, in
> order, until I get a match. (Actually I'm going to attempt to test
> each log as I accept it instead of building up a multi-Gigabyte List
> Object and then looping through it)
> Now the part that has tied me up for a while - I'll try to be clear
> about it:
> Say I take the first chosen syslog string and begin testing it against
> my rule regexes. I find that the 10th regex is a match. I want to save
> rule # 10 and below it the current (matching) syslog string. (by save
> I mean put it in some object that I can print it out later, in order)
> The second syslog string matches rule # 20. I want to save rule # 20
> and below it the second syslog string.
> Finally, the third syslog string matches rule # 10 again and I simply
> want to add this syslog beneath the one that was saved in the first
> step.
> This way I could print a report that showed:
> ******
> ACL rule1 details, details  (This is the string referenced by aclS)
>     syslog string showing a connection
>     another syslog string showing a connection
> ACL rule2 details, details
>     (never used)
> ACL rule3 details, details
>     syslog string...
>     another syslog string...
>     yet another syslog string...
> ...
> ******
> This is why I thought that I needed to take something, a substring or
> even the entire string, from each rule (aclS) and use it for the
> "name" (reference, pointer?) of a new List to save all of the matching
> logs in.
> I could not do this so I registered and posted here on
> comp.lang.python - and within 17 minutes I had my answer!
> Duncan showed the dictionary method. Boy, I had to stare at that for a
> while to get it. Ethan gave an example of how to reference it once it
> was created, and then you came along and added an example of doing it
> interactively! Oh and your  scenarios were spot on. What a community!
> I'm really impressed.
> I think the dictionary approach will get me there but if there is some
> convention that would work better I'm all ears.
> Thanks again,
> Scott

No that is pretty much it. Your dictionary could look something like

>>> pprint(rules_info)
{'ACL rule 1': ['detail detail', 'syslog string1', 'another syslog
 'ACL rule 2': ['detail detail'],
 'ACL rule 3': ['detail detailsyslog string1', 'yet another syslog

The only wrinkle is that a dictionary doesn't care about any
particular ordering of its entries, so if you want them in a
particular order you might have to sort them first when you output
them. You know like:

>>> for rule in sorted(rules_info): print rule,rules_info[rule]

ACL rule 1 ['detail detail', 'syslog string1', 'another syslog
ACL rule 2 ['detail detail']
ACL rule 3 ['detail detailsyslog string1', 'yet another syslog

Producing output in an order different than the dictionary key is left
as an exercise for the reader :-)

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