sorting a list of dicts by a computed field

Chris Angelico rosuav at
Tue Jan 31 15:30:52 EST 2017

On Wed, Feb 1, 2017 at 7:26 AM, Larry Martell <larry.martell at> wrote:
> I have a list of dicts and one item of the dict is a date in m/d/Y
> format. I want to sort by that. I tried this:
> sorted(data['trends'], key=lambda k:
> datetime.strptime(k['date_time'],'%m/%d/%Y'))
> But that fails with:
> Exception Type: AttributeError at /report/CDSEM/WaferAlignment/ajax/waChart.json
> Exception Value: 'module' object has no attribute 'strptime'
> How can I do this sort?

I think your problem here may be with how you're trying to parse that
datetime. There are two common ways to get access to a thing called

# Option 1:
import datetime
# Option 2:
from datetime import datetime

The first one gives you a module; the second gives you just one class
out of that module (one that happens to have the same name as the
module itself). My guess is that you're using the first form, but you
picked up some example code from somewhere that assumes the second.

Try using "datetime.datetime.strptime" in your key function, and see
if that helps.


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