parsing string into dict

Tim Arnold a_jtim at
Wed Sep 1 19:46:50 CEST 2010

I have a set of strings that are *basically* comma separated, but with
the exception that if a comma occur insides curly braces it is not a
delimiter.  Here's an example:

[code=one, caption={My Analysis for \textbf{t}, Version 1}, continued]

I'd like to parse that into a dictionary (note that 'continued' gets
the value 'true'):
{'code':'one', 'caption':'{My Analysis for \textbf{t}, Version

I know and love pyparsing, but for this particular code I need to rely
only on the standard library (I'm running 2.7). Here's what I've got,
and it works. I wonder if there's a simpler way?
--Tim Arnold

The 'line' is like my example above but it comes in without the ending
bracket, so I append one on the 6th line.

    def parse_options(line):
        options = dict()
        if not line:
            return options
        active  = ['[','=',',','{','}',']']
        line += ']'
        key     = ''
        word    = ''
        inner   = 0
        for c in list(line):
            if c in active:
                if c == '{': inner +=1
                elif c == '}': inner -=1
                if inner:
                    word += c
                    if c == '=':
                        (key,word) = (word,'')
                        options[key.strip()] = True
                    elif c in [',', ']']:
                        if not key:
                            options[word.strip()] = True
                            options[key.strip()] = word.strip()
                        (key,word) = (False, '')
                word += c
        return options

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