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tambo 0.0.8

A command line object dispatcher

Latest Version: 0.4.0

Use any argument parser you want for each sub-command. Easily manage each command as a self-contained application.

Command Line Traversing Engine

tambo is a Python package that helps to automatically traverse a tree of command line options and subcommands dispatching them to mapped classes that can use any command line parser they want.

Whenever a command line interface of a program grows beyond a few flags and options it becomes painful to manage all the different options and calls happening on a single place.

tambo’s approach

What if we could map the command line options to objects and just deal with the incoming action once? Dealing with subcommands would not be up to a single object that gets constructed, but rather, to a chain of events that start at the root of an object that has the first level options mapped.

This would be an example of how tambo would a dispatch of a subcommand:

parser = tambo.Transport(args)
parser.mapper = { 'subcommand' : MySubcommandClass }

The dispatcher would call MySubcommandClass passing in all the arguments that came in initially to the constructor and would then call the parse_args method so that your class can handle the logic of what to do with the incoming arguments and options there.

Do you need to add more commands? Just add them to this root mapper and they will be kept self contained. No need to declare every single option for all commands in one place. This is how it would look for a few more commands:

parser = tambo.Transport(args)
parser.mapper = {'subcommand': MySubcommandClass,
                 'bar': BarClass,
                 'foo': FooClass'}

You can still handle options, boolean flags and anything you want before hitting tambo to dispatch to subcommands, and again, you may use whatever argument parser you want.

Lets put this abundantly clear:

You can use whatever argument parser you want

What is wrong with current approaches

Even current, widely used command line option parsers in Python suffer from this case: argparse and optparser both require one to explicitly construct the objects with the parameters when the interface is called.

Not only it forces you to create them before hand, but it also forces one to make decisions based on what the parsed objects got. For example, if you have a --verbose flag you would first need to add it to the parsing object, something along the lines of

parser = ParserObject()
options, arguments = parser.parse_args(args)

parser.add_option('--verbose', action='store_true', help='Increase

And then to act upon whatever the parser object got, you would do something like:

if parser.verbose:
    # do something about verbosity here

Again, this is all OK if you have just a few flags and options, but if you have, say, 10 or 20 of those, or are combining some with subcommands, you get highly convoluted methods or functions that are trying to deal with the high demand for object construction.

Moreover, you are causing that method to create and evaluate everything all the time.

If this was a web framework, it would be a highly inefficient one, wouldn’t it? Executing all the code all the time when a request comes in?

Command Line Class

The command line class is what tambo would look forward when dispatching to subcommands. They need to follow a couple of constraints but will still allow to handle the command line arguments in whatever way you want with whatever library you want.

The most simple class you would need to have a valid dispatch call would look like this (following the example of the verbose flag from above):

class MySubCommand(object):

    def __init__(self, argv):
        self.argv = argv

    def parse_args(self):
        if '--verbose' in self.argv:

In tambo internals, the above class will get called when it matches the mapping defined in your root dictionary, and will receive the argv argument which is nothing else than the list of arguments (same as what you would expect from sys.argv received on the command line. If we are following the examples from above, the call would’ve been like this on the CLI:

my_cli subcommand --verbose

Using tambo parsed args

Although you can use whatever argument parser you want, tambo also comes with its own little engine that maps arguments in the command line to values, that represents the flags and arguments that you expect:

from tambo import Transport

class MySubCommand(object):

    def __init__(self, argv):
        self.argv = argv
        self.parser = Transport(self.argv)

    def parse_args(self):
        if self.parser.has('--verbose'):

In the above case --verbose wasn’t expecting a value assigned so later we just verified it existed by calling has('--verbose').

The Transport object allows you to define all the flags and options you need as a tuple or a list so that they can be taken into account when mapping the values. If you want to define aliases, you can do so by grouping them in a list within the main list passed in to Transport:

>>> from tambo import Transport
>>> options = [['-i', '--import'], '--verbose']
>>> parse = Transport(options)
>>> sys_argv = ['/bin/myapp', '-i', 'somevalue']
>>> parse.parse_args(sys_argv)
>>> parse.get('-i')
>>> parse.get('--import')

So aliases work by grouping them together in a list, but what happens on boolean flags? You can check them by calling the has method:

>>> sys_argv = ['/bin/myapp', '--verbose']
>>> parse.parse_args(sys_argv)
>>> parse.has('-i')
>>> parse.has('--verbose')

If you need to check for boolean flags in batch, you can pass in a list:

>>> sys_argv = ['/bin/myapp', '--verbose']
>>> parse.parse_args(sys_argv)
>>> parse.has('-i')
>>> parse.has(['-v', '--verbose'])

Help generation

A common problem for subcommands and command line tools that have these is generating help in a semi-automated way. tambo has a way to do this for subcommands that are mapped by calling the help property if there is one and would in turn outpout that information when called:

class MySubcommandClass(object):

    help = 'A sub-command that does some stuff'

And then in the handler for your arguments it will automaticall check for the presence of the help attribute to display it if needed:

# parser is an instance of the Transport class from ``tambo``

Which would make sure that when help is set on the command line it would output something like this:

my_cli_tool version 0.0.1


subcommand          A sub-command that does some stuff

This is again, entirely optional, as you can avoid making those calls to catch help by telling the Transport class to avoid checking for it:

parser = Transport(sys.argv, check_help=False)

If for some reason you wanted to force printing the help menu, for example when no options have been matched, you can also do that with print_help()

parser = Transport(sys.argv, check_help=False)

if parser.has('--verbose'):
File Type Py Version Uploaded on Size
tambo-0.0.8.tar.gz (md5) Source 2013-07-25 31KB