string interpolation permalink

formatting expressions with replacement tokens permalink

You can use substitution tokens, aka string interpolation, to format strings where specified for context items. This substitutes anything between {curly braces} with the context value for that key. This also works with nested values where you have dictionaries/lists inside dictionaries/lists.

For example, if your context looked like this:

key1: down
key2: valleys
key3: value3

key4: Piping {key1} the {key2} wild
# key4 == 'Piping down the valleys wild'

nested values permalink

You can reference keys nested deeper in the context hierarchy, in cases where you have a dictionary that contains lists/dictionaries that might contain other lists/dictionaries and so forth.

root:
  - list index 0
  - key1: this is a value from a dict containing a list, which contains a dict at index 1
    key2: key 2 value
  - list index 2

Given the context above, you can use formatting expressions to access nested values like this:

'{root[0]}' == list index 0
'{root[1][key1]}' == this is a value from a dict containing a list, which contains a dict at index 1
'{root[1][key2]}' == key 2 value
'{root[2]}' == list index 2

Here is another example of how you access nested dictionary mappings:

my_mapping:
  a: b
  c:
    d: e
    f: g
    h:
      - item 1
      - item 2

# nested_value is 'g'
nested_value: '{my_mapping[c][f]}'

# nested_with_list is 'item 2'
nested_with_list: '{my_mapping[c][h][1]}'

replacement tokens vs structural yaml permalink

In json & yaml, {curly braces} need to be inside quotes to make sure they parse as string formatting tokens and not as structural indicators.

Especially watch in yaml, where { as the first character of a key or value will read as a structural mapping if it’s not in quotes like this: "{key}".

invalid_value: {mytag} # INVALID! yaml reads opening curly brace as a mapping type.
valid_token: '{mytag}' # explicitly make it a string with the quotes.
also_valid: start {mytag} end # if the {curlies} are in the middle you don't need quotes.

interpolate & keep the target type permalink

If your replacement expression is a single token and nothing more, pypyr will keep the type of the replacement target. This is very useful when you want to assign or copy values in context.

a_bool: True
an_int: 123
a_date: 2010-11-12
a_string: this is a string
a_list:
  - item 1
  - item 2
  - item 3
a_map:
  a: b
  c: d

format_me: # each new_ item is the same type as the source
  new_bool: '{a_bool}' # new_bool is also a bool
  new_int: '{an_int}' # new_int is an integer
  new_date: '{a_date}' # new_date is datetime
  new_string: '{a_string}' # new_string is string
  new_list: '{a_list}' # new_list is a list
  new_map: '{a_map}' # new_map is a dict/map

When a replacement expression is part of a string that contains more than just a single replacement token, pypyr will convert all the replacement tokens to their string representations. This is the case when the string contains any literal in addition to one or more replacement tokens. This is known as a compound replacement expression.

a_bool: True
an_int: 123
a_string: this is a string

# new_string will be a string
new_string: a string with {a_bool}, {an_int} and {a_string}
# new_string is 'a string with True, 123 and this is a string'

new_string2: 0{an_int}4
# new_string2 is a string == '01234'

You can explicitly cast any token expression to a string like this:

my_int: 123
my_formatted_str_from_int: '{my_int!s}'
# my_formatted_str_from_int is string "123", not number 123

This is useful when you have a single replacement token expression where you don’t want to keep the target type.

recursive vs flat format permalink

recursive format permalink

A recursive format replaces tokens recursively, making token replacements in the result of each replacement. This is what happens by default in a single token expression.

nested_key: 'nested value'
key: '{nested_key}'

format_me: '{key}'
# format_me == 'nested value'

flat format permalink

A flat format makes a token replacement once, but does not make any further token replacements in the result. This is what happens by default in a compound replacement expression.

nested_key: arbitrary
key: contains {nested_key}

format_me: this {key} formatted flat by default
# format_me == 'this contains {nested key} formatted flat by default'
# use recursive format if you want 'this contains arbitrary flat format by default'

Flat Format is especially useful when your formatting expression evaluates to a string that contains literal curly braces that are not meant as pypyr replacement tokens - for example a string containing json.

explicitly set recursive permalink

If you want to format the result recursively in a compound token expression, you explicitly set rf (Recursive Format) to do so:

nested_key: arbitrary result
key: contains {nested_key}

format_me: this {key:rf} formatted recursively
# format_me == 'this contains arbitrary result formatted recursively'

explicitly set flat permalink

If you want to flat format a single token expression instead, you explicitly set ff (Flat Format) to do so:

nested_key: 'nested value'
key: '{nested_key}'

format_me: '{key:ff}'
# format_me == '{nested_key}'

You can explicitly stop a recursive format from further formatting nested values by using a ff directive where you want it stop:

# recurse to the end
k3: 'the end'
k2: '{k3}'
k1: '{k2}'
k0: '{k1}'

format_me: '{k0}' # == 'the end'


# recurse until ff
k3: 'the end'
k2: '{k3}' # will NOT process {k3}, because k2:ff (Flat Format)
k1: '{k2:ff}'
k0: '{k1}'

format_me: '{k0}' # == '{k3}'

iterable objects permalink

recursively format iterable objects permalink

pypyr will format iterable objects like lists, sets and mappings (dict) recursively by default.

k1: formatted A
k2: formatted one

my_map:
  a: '{k1}'
  c: d
  e: 
    f: g
    h: 
      - zero
      - '{k2}'
      - two

format_me: '{my_map}'

The resulting value of format_me is:

a: formatted A
c: d
e: 
  f: g
  h: 
    - zero
    - formatted one
    - two

do not recurse iterable objects permalink

You can use the Flat Format ff indicator not to iterate the target object:

k1: formatted A
k2: formatted one

my_map:
  a: '{k1}'
  c: d
  e: 
    f: g
    h: 
      - zero
      - '{k2}'
      - two

format_me: '{my_map:ff}'

The resulting value is of format_me is:

my_map:
  a: '{k1}'
  c: d
  e: 
    f: g
    h: 
      - zero
      - '{k2}'
      - two

working with contextsetf permalink

When you use the contextsetf step pypyr evaluates each assignment in order from the top down. Each assignment is atomic.

This might look like a recursive format, but it isn’t - it’s just that each line evaluates individually before pypyr moves on to the next.

- name: pypyr.steps.contextsetf
  comment: each assignment evaluates atomically,
           in order from the top down
  in:
    contextSetf:
      k3: 'the end'
      k2: '2 {k3}' # == '2 the end'
      k1: '1 {k2}' # == '1 2 the end'
      k0: '0 {k1}' # == '0 1 2 the end'

escape sequences permalink

Escape literal curly braces with doubles:

special characterescape sequence
{{{
}}}

If your particular strings make using the escape sequences a nuisance, you can avoid doubling the curly braces by using sic strings aka literal strings instead.

# two ways of escaping literal curly braces:
my_escaped_string: the doubled {{curly}} means it won't parse as a replacement token.
another_escaped_string: !sic parse {curly} as literal without doubling.

interpolate complex types permalink

You can assign complex types or hierarchial, nested structures with string formatting expression syntax. This allows you to replace an entire key or value in any sub-section, or to build a new configuration section using parts of other configuration sections. This is type-safe.

For example, in the following example there is a complex nested dictionary under key1.

key1:
  k1.1: value 1.1
  k1.2: 
    - 1.2.1
    - 1.2.2
    - 1.2.3.key1: dict inside list inside dict 1
      1.2.3.key2: dict inside list inside dict 2
key2: key 2 value

You can use the entirety of key1 in any other complex nested configuration context values you assemble in pypyr, so you effectively compose new configuration context structures from existing building blocks.

- name: pypyr.steps.contextsetf
  in:
    contextSetf: 
      newkey:
        nestedkey1: nested value 1
        nestedkey2:
          - list item 0
          - '{key1}'
          - list item 2

In this example, nested a few levels deep under newkey, pypyr will replace {key1} with the entirety of the complex, nested dictionary under key1. This will result in the the following context:

key1:
  k1.1: value 1.1
  k1.2: 
    - 1.2.1
    - 1.2.2
    - 1.2.3.key1: dict inside list inside dict 1
      1.2.3.key2: dict inside list inside dict 2
key2: key 2 value
newkey:
  nestedkey1: nested value 1
  nestedkey2:
    - list item 0
    - k1.1: value 1.1
      k1.2: 
        - 1.2.1
        - 1.2.2
        - 1.2.3.key1: dict inside list inside dict 1
          1.2.3.key2: dict inside list inside dict 2
    - list item 2

format specification mini language permalink

You can use the full expressive power of Python’s format specification mini-language in any replacement token expression.

This allows you to

  • align left, right or center;
  • left or right pad your output with spaces or custom characters;
  • format numbers to add a +/- sign;
  • format numbers as hex, oct, decimals
  • add thousands separators to numbers;
  • customize datetime output strings;
  • use exponential or fixed point notation where you can set the precision.
  • and more. . .

You can combine pypyr’s Flat Format ff and Recursive Format rf indicators with any of these. Just put the ff or rf at the very beginning of the format specification. The subsequent formatting expression will apply to the end result of any recursive formatting sequence.

- name: pypyr.steps.echo
  comment: use any python format mini-syntax
  in:
    arb_string: ABC
    arb_number: 42
    big_number: 12345678
    arb_date: 2006-01-02 15:04:05
    string_1: two
    string_2: 'one {string_1}'
    string_3: 'zero {string_2}'

    echoMe: |
      int: {arb_number:d}
      hex: {arb_number:x}
      oct: {arb_number:o}
      bin: {arb_number:b}
      %: {arb_number:.2%}
      
      left align: begin{arb_string:<6}end
      right align: begin{arb_string:>6}end
      center: begin{arb_string:^7}end

      left pad: {arb_string:+<6}
      right pad: {arb_string:+>6}
      center pad: {arb_string:+^7}

      thousands separator: {big_number:,}

      date/time formatting: {arb_date:%A %H:%M}

      rf/ff combined with other mini-format syntax
      {string_3:rf+^14}      

This will output:

int: 42
hex: 2a
oct: 52
bin: 101010
%: 4200.00%

left align: beginABC   end
right align: begin   ABCend
center: begin  ABC  end

left pad: ABC+++
right pad: +++ABC
center pad: ++ABC++

thousands separator: 12,345,678

date/time formatting: Monday 15:04

rf/ff combined with other mini-format syntax
+zero one two+

For full details of the Python format specification mini-language, check here:

https://docs.python.org/3/library/string.html#format-specification-mini-language

For full date time format codes, check here:

https://docs.python.org/3/library/datetime.html#strftime-and-strptime-format-codes

last updated on .