Here’s an idea - your (free) project (just a hobby, nothing big and professional like Django) that has been brewing since april is starting to get ready. Embedded complexity in it starts to grow faster than you would like it to and LOC increases along with number of features supported by your code.

Each of these features requires some configuration though, some of it even needs to be hidden from public repo because, you know, security.

This probably leaves you with constantly growing number of things you can tweak or ‘set’ via various methods - flags, configuration files, secret files in various file formats, even environment variables are in this party.

If you ever were in that situation then you probably had some ways of handling it - either via custom loaders or something as big as in-place ‘resources’ implementation.

And I can bet that you set it up pretty much exactly the same every time - there’s some main config file in fancy format like yaml for the kool kidz or toml for these who like simplicity but still want something bigger than ini.

These config files probably contain portions of your classes or data structures rewritten with appropriate type and (hopefully) chunk of comments explaining each option.

Some parts of this configuration is passed to your project via the ‘environment’ like in Heroku or AWS Lambda where you type in key-value pair and use it on the other end as env variables.

And all of this is cool and all but this takes time to set up. Also, even if you set up it correctly by copying it from your previous project you still need to do something more - validate types, react to incorrect values and handle all possible cases of data corruption because you have forgot that key: in yaml resolves to value null without explicitly setting it.

This takes time which you can now save in your next project by using my recent python module! :)

cklass allows you to hide all the burden required with using multiple config file types, proper and type-safe value overwriting and simple hierarchy.

From now on all you need to do is to create a python class with variables and pass this class as an argument to cklass.load_config(). That’s it!

Your upper-cased class attributes will be now overwritten by values defined in config/secret files and env variables in correct order including with type-checking system defined by the types of class attributes themselves.

Ok, enough talking - let me show you the code:

import cklass

class Config:

    app_name = 'terrahome'

    DEBUG = True
    class User:
        LOGIN = 'default login'
        PASS = 'default password'
    class Secret:
        COOKIE = 'default cookie' 
        KEY = 'default key'


This is pretty much all you need to do in python to get it working - define class, spell out some attributes with capslock and call one function.

Now the overwriting part comes in:

# config.yaml
  debug: false
  verbosity-level: 0
# secret.yaml
    login: 'freddie'
    pass: 'correct horse battery staple'
    cookie: 'monster'
# bash
export CONFIG__SECRET__KEY='&&citiAlfa5?'

# start your app

Thanks to the conf posted above my class attributes are now overwritten by values from config.yaml, then secret.yaml and finally the environment vars ensuring that every type matches the defined one in class body.

Here’s the effect:

class Config:
    app_name = 'terrahome'

    DEBUG = False
    class User:
        LOGIN = 'freddie'
        PASS = 'correct horse battery staple'
    class Secret:
        COOKIE = 'monster'
        KEY = '&&citiAlfa5?'

Of course you can change the filenames by adding few more attrs to the class or tinker with few more aspects of it but that’s out of the scope for this blog post - all I wanted to show you now is here.

If you want to know more check out the git repo and it’s pip page. I hope that it will be as useful to you as it is to me :)