Delete dict and subdict items of some name

Mitya Sirenef msirenef at
Tue Dec 18 02:09:01 CET 2012

On 12/17/2012 05:00 PM, Dave Angel wrote:
> On 12/17/2012 04:33 PM, Mitya Sirenef wrote:
>> On 12/17/2012 01:30 PM, Tim Chase wrote:
>>> On 12/17/12 11:43, Mitya Sirenef wrote:
>>>> On 12/17/2012 12:27 PM, Gnarlodious wrote:
>>>>> Hello. What I want to do is delete every dictionary key/value
>>>>> of the name 'Favicon' regardless of depth in subdicts, of which
>>>>> there are many. What is the best way to do it?
>>>> Something like this should work:
>>>> def delkey(d, key):
>>>>        if isinstance(d, dict):
>>>>            if key in d: del d[key]
>>>>            for val in d.values():
>>>>                delkey(val, key)
>>> Unless you have something hatefully recursive like
>>>     d = {}
>>>     d["hello"] = d
>>> :-)
>> True -- didn't think of that..!
>> I guess then adding a check 'if val is not d: delkey(val, key)'
>> would take care of it?
> No, that would only cover the self-recursive case.  If there's a dict
> which contains another one, which contains the first, then the recursion
> is indirect, and much harder to check for.
> Checking reliably for arbitrary recursion patterns is tricky, but
> do-able.  Most people degenerate into just setting an arbitrary max
> depth.  But I can describe two approaches to this kind of problem.
> 1) build a list of the recursion path at present, and compare against
> the whole path, rather than just the tail.  If there are any matches, quit.
> 2) make the iterator an object, and instantiate two of them.  Then each
> recursive level, iterate the main one once, and the secondary one
> twice.  If the two ever match, you have a loop.  Deciding what to do at
> that point is tricky because you may have processed some nodes multiple
> times already.  But at least it'll terminate, and it doesn't use linear
> memory to do so.  I call this one the lollypop algorithm.

Thanks, this is quite interesting..

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