Delete dict and subdict items of some name

Dave Angel d at
Tue Dec 18 03:13:17 CET 2012

On 12/17/2012 06:08 PM, MRAB wrote:
> On 2012-12-17 22:00, 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.
> Wouldn't a set of the id of the visited objects work?

Sure.  But the set will get lots larger than a list, which is limited to
the depth of max recursion.  It also locks a lot more objects in memory,
where the list only locks one per level.

Now, maybe if the search is depth-first, and if you prune the set on the
way back up, then it'll be space efficient.



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