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Python package to handle configuration files specifying values changing over time


The main features of epochs are:

  • Parse date-based configuration files and retrieve values based on datetime.
  • Validate configuration files, both normal and epoch date-based ones, against a specification.

For example, for a configuration file, epochs.cfg, such as:

[2019-04-09 20:27:15]
value   : 3

[2019-04-09 22:31:01]
value   : 5

The dates can be anything parsed by dateutil.parser.parse. Then, epochs can retrieve the correct value from the config file corresponding to a given date:

>>> import epochs
>>> ep = epochs.parse('epochs.cfg')
>>> value = ep.get('value', datetime='2019-04-09 21:55:45')
>>> print(value)
>>> value = ep.get('value', datetime='2019-04-09 23:15:40')
>>> print(value)

The “correct” value is the one specified in the earliest section of the configuration file with a date on or before the given date.

Below is an example specification for a configuration file:

name    : required=True, type=str
streets : required=True, type=List[str]
temp    : required=False, type=float, default=0.0

And an example configuration file following this specification:

name    : Boulder
streets : [Broadway, Baseline, Valmont]

Then to parse the configuration file with its specification:

>>> import epochs
>>> cf = epochs.parse('example.cfg', spec='spec.cfg')
>>> name = cf.get('name', section='city')
>>> print(name)
>>> streets = cf.get('streets', section='city')
>>> print(steets)
['Broadway', 'Baseline', 'Valmont']
>>> temp = cf.get('temp', section='city')
>>> print(temp, type(temp))
0.0 <class 'float'>


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