3.2.3.2. YamlConfig - Spring Python’s YAML format

YamlConfig is a class that scans object definitions stored in a YAML 1.1 format using the PyYAML project.

The following is a simple definition of objects, including scope and lazy-init. Later sections will show other options you have for wiring things together:

objects:
    - object: MovieLister
      class: springpythontest.support.testSupportClasses.MovieLister
      scope: prototype
      properties:
          finder: {ref: MovieFinder}
          description: {ref: SingletonString}

    - object: MovieFinder
      class: springpythontest.support.testSupportClasses.ColonMovieFinder
      scope: singleton
      lazy-init: True
      properties:
          filename: support/movies1.txt

    - object: SingletonString
      class: springpythontest.support.testSupportClasses.StringHolder
      lazy-init: True
      properties:
          str: There should only be one copy of this string

The definitions stored in this file are fed to an YamlConfig instance which scans it, and then sends the meta-data to the ApplicationContext. Then, when the application code requests an object named MovieLister from the container, the container utilizes an object factory to create the object and return it:

from springpython.context import ApplicationContext
from springpython.config import YamlConfig

container = ApplicationContext(YamlConfig("app-context.yml"))
service = container.get_object("MovieLister")

3.2.3.2.1. Referenced Objects

A referenced object is where an object is needed, but instead of providing the definition right there, there is, instead, a name, referring to another object definition.

Object definitions can refer to other objects in many places including: properties, constructor arguments, and objects embedded inside various collections. This is the way to break things down into smaller pieces. It also allows you more efficiently use memory and guarantee different objects are linked to the same backend object.

The following fragment, pulled from the earlier example, shows two different properties referencing other objects. It demonstrates the two ways to refer to another object:

object: MovieLister
class: springpythontest.support.testSupportClasses.MovieLister
scope: prototype
properties:
    finder: {ref: MovieFinder}
    description: {ref: SingletonString}

This means that instead of defining the object meant to be injected into the description property right there, the container must look elsewhere amongst its collection of object definitions for an object named SingletonString.

Note

  • Referenced objects don’t have to be in same configuration

    When a referenced object is encountered, finding its definition is referred back to the container. This means ANY of the input sources provided to the container can hold this definition, REGARDLESS of format.

  • Spring Python ONLY supports global references

    While Spring Java has different levels of reference like parent, local, and global, Spring Python only supports global at this time.

In the following subsections, other types of object definitions are given. Each will also include information about embedding reference objects.

3.2.3.2.2. Inner Objects

Inner objects are objects defined inside another structure, and not at the root level of the YAML document. The following shows an alternative configuration of a MovieLister where the finder uses a named inner object:

object: MovieLister3
class: springpythontest.support.testSupportClasses.MovieLister
properties:
    finder:
        object: named
        class: springpythontest.support.testSupportClasses.ColonMovieFinder
        properties:
            filename: support/movies1.txt
    description: {ref: SingletonString}

The ColonMovieFinder is indeed an inner object because it was defined inside the MovieLister3 object. Objects defined at the top level have a container-level name that matches their id value. In this case, asking the container for a copy of MovieLister3 will yield the top level object. However, named objects develop a path-like name based on where they are located. In this case, the inner ColonMovieFinder object will have a container-level name of MovieLister3.finder.named.

Typically, neither your code nor other object definitions will have any need to reference MovieLister3.finder.named, but there may be cases where you need this. The value of the object key of ColonMovieFinder can be left out (it is optional for inner objects) like this:

object: MovieLister2
class: springpythontest.support.testSupportClasses.MovieLister
properties:
    finder:
        object:
        class: springpythontest.support.testSupportClasses.ColonMovieFinder
        properties:
            filename: support/movies1.txt
    description: {ref: SingletonString}

That is slightly more compact, and usually alright because you usually wouldn’t access this object from anywhere. However, if you must, the name in this case is MovieLister2.finder.<anonymous> indicating an anonymous object.

It is important to realize that inner objects have all the same privileges as top-level objects, meaning that they can also utilize reference objects, collections, and inner objects themselves.

3.2.3.2.3. Collections

Spring Java supports many types of collections, including lists, sets, frozen sets, maps, tuples, and java-style properties. Spring Python supports these as well. The following configuration shows usage of dict, list, set, frozenset, and tuple:

object: ValueHolder
class: springpythontest.support.testSupportClasses.ValueHolder
constructor-args:
    - {ref: SingletonString}
properties:
    some_dict:
          Hello: World
          Spring: Python
          holder: {ref: SingletonString}
          another copy: {ref: SingletonString}
    some_list:
        - Hello, world!
        - ref: SingletonString
        - Spring Python
    some_props:
        administrator: [email protected]
        support: [email protected]
        development: [email protected]
    some_set:
        set:
            - Hello, world!
            - ref: SingletonString
            - Spring Python
    some_frozen_set:
        frozenset:
            - Hello, world!
            - ref: SingletonString
            - Spring Python
    some_tuple:
        tuple:
            - Hello, world!
            - ref: SingletonString
            - Spring Python
  • some_dict is a Python dictionary with four entries.
  • some_list is a Python list with three entries.
  • some_props is also a Python dictionary, containing three values.
  • some_set is an instance of Python’s mutable set.
  • some_frozen_set is an instance of Python’s frozen set.
  • some_tuple is a Python tuple with three values.

Note

Java uses maps, Python uses dictionaries

While Java calls key-based structures maps, Python calls them dictionaries. For this reason, the code fragment shows a “dict” entry, which is one-to-one with Spring Java’s “map” definition.

Java also has a Property class. Since YAML already supports a key/value structure as-is, YamlConfig does not have a separate structural definition.

3.2.3.2.4. Support for Python builtin types and mappings of other types onto YAML syntax

Objects of commonly used Python builtin types may be tersely expressed in YamlConfig. Supported types are str, unicode, int, long, float, decimal.Decimal, bool, complex, dict, list and tuple.

Here’s a sample YamlConfig featuring their usage. Note that with the exception of decimal.Decimal, names of the YAML attributes are the same as the names of Python types:

objects:
    - object:  MyString
      str: My string

    - object:  MyUnicode
      unicode: Zażółć gęślą jaźń

    - object:  MyInt
      int: 10

    - object:  MyLong
      long: 100000000000000000000000

    - object:  MyFloat
      float: 3.14

    - object:  MyDecimal
      decimal: 12.34

    - object:  MyBoolean
      bool: False

    - object:  MyComplex
      complex: 10+0j

    - object:  MyList
      list: [1, 2, 3, 4]

    - object:  MyTuple
      tuple: ["a", "b", "c"]

    - object: MyDict
      dict:
        1: "a"
        2: "b"
        3: "c"

    - object: MyRef
      decimal:
        ref: MyDecimal

Under the hood, while parsing the YAML files, Spring Python will translate the definitions such as the one above into the following one:

objects:
    - object:  MyString
      class: types.StringType
      constructor-args: ["My string"]

    - object:  MyUnicode
      class: types.UnicodeType
      constructor-args: ["Zażółć gęślą jaźń"]

    - object:  MyInt
      class: types.IntType
      constructor-args: [10]

    - object:  MyLong
      class: types.LongType
      constructor-args: [100000000000000000000000]

    - object:  MyFloat
      class: types.FloatType
      constructor-args: [3.14]

    - object:  MyDecimal
      class: decimal.Decimal
      constructor-args: ["12.34"]

    - object: MyBoolean
      class: types.BooleanType
      constructor-args: [False]

    - object: MyComplex
      class: types.ComplexType
      constructor-args: [10+0j]

    - object: MyList
      class: types.ListType
      constructor-args: [[1,2,3,4]]

    - object: MyTuple
      class: types.TupleType
      constructor-args: [["a", "b", "c"]]

    - object: MyDict
      class: types.DictType
      constructor-args: [{1: "a", 2: "b", 3: "c"}]

    - object: MyRef
      class: decimal.Decimal
      constructor-args: [{ref: MyDecimal}]

Configuration of how YAML elements are mapped onto Python types is stored in the springpython.config.yaml_mappings dictionary which can be easily customized to fulfill one’s needs. The dictionary’s keys are names of the YAML elements and its values are the coresponding Python types, written as strings in the form of “package_name.module_name.class_name” - note that the “package_name.module_name.” part is required, it needs to be a fully qualified name.

Let’s assume that in your configuration you’re frequently creating objects of type interest_rate.InterestRateFrequency, here’s how you can save yourself a lot of typing by customizing the mappings dictionary. First, on Python side, create an InterestRate class, such as:

class InterestRate(object):
    def __init__(self, value=None):
        self.value = value

which will allow you to create such a YAML context:

objects:
    - object: base_interest_rate
      interest_rate: "7.35"

then, before creating the context, update the mappings dictionary as needed and next you’ll be able to access the base_interest_rate object as if it had been defined using the standard syntax:

from springpython.context import ApplicationContext
from springpython.config import YamlConfig, yaml_mappings

yaml_mappings.update({"interest_rate": "interest_rate.InterestRate"})

# .. create the context now
container = ApplicationContext(YamlConfig("./app-ctx.yaml"))

# .. fetch the object
base_interest_rate = container.get_object("base_interest_rate")

# .. will show "7.35", as defined in the "./app-ctx.yaml" config
print base_interest_rate.value

3.2.3.2.5. Constructors

Python functions can have both positional and named arguments. Positional arguments get assembled into a tuple, and named arguments are assembled into a dictionary, before being passed to a function call. Spring Python takes advantage of that option when it comes to constructor calls. The following block of configuration data shows defining positional constructors:

object: AnotherSingletonString
class: springpythontest.support.testSupportClasses.StringHolder
constructor-args:
    - position 1's constructor value

Spring Python will read these and then feed them to the class constructor in the same order as shown here.

The following code configuration shows named constructor arguments. Spring Python converts these into keyword arguments, meaning it doesn’t matter what order they are defined:

object: MultiValueHolder
class: springpythontest.support.testSupportClasses.MultiValueHolder
constructor-args:
    a: alt a
    b: alt b

This was copied from the code’s test suite, where a test case is used to prove that order doesn’t matter. It is important to note that positional constructor arguments are fed before named constructors, and that overriding a the same constructor parameter both by position and by name is not allowed by Python, and will in turn, generate a run-time error.

It is also valuable to know that you can mix this up and use both.

3.2.3.2.6. Object definition inheritance

Just like XMLConfig, YamlConfig allows for wiring the objects definitions into hierarchies of abstract and children objects, thus this section is in most parts a repetition of what’s documented here.

Definitions may be stacked up into hierarchies of abstract parents and their children objects. A child object not only inherits all the properties and constructor arguments from its parent but it can also easily override any of the inherited values. This can save a lot of typing when configuring non-trivial application contexts which would otherwise need to repeat the same configuration properties over many objects definitions.

An abstract object is identified by having an abstract attribute equal to True and the child ones are those which have a parent attribute set to ID of an object from which the properties or constructor arguments should be inherited. Child objects must not specify the class attribute, its value is taken from their parents.

An object may be both a child and an abstract one.

Here’s a hypothetical configuration of a set of services exposed by a server. Note how you can easily change the CRM environment you’re invoking by merely changing the concrete service’s (get_customer_id or get_customer_profile) parent ID:

objects:
    - object: service
      class: springpythontest.support.testSupportClasses.Service
      abstract: True
      scope: singleton
      lazy-init: True
      properties:
        ip: 192.168.1.153

    - object: crm_service_dev
      abstract: True
      parent: service
      properties:
        port: "3392"

    - object: crm_service_test
      abstract: True
      parent: service
      properties:
        port: "3393"

    - object: get_customer_id
      parent: crm_service_dev
      properties:
        path: /soap/invoke/get_customer_id

    - object: get_customer_profile
      parent: crm_service_test
      properties:
        path: /soap/invoke/get_customer_profile

Here’s how you can override inherited properties; both get_customer_id and get_customer_profile object definitions will inherit the path property however the actual objects returned by the container will use local, overridden, values of the property:

objects:
    - object: service
      class: foo.Service
      abstract: True
      scope: singleton
      lazy-init: True
      properties:
        ip: 192.168.1.153
        port: "3392"
        path: /DOES-NOT-EXIST

    - object: get_customer_id
      parent: service
      properties:
        path: /soap/invoke/get_customer_id

    - object: get_customer_profile
      parent: service
      properties:
        path: /soap/invoke/get_customer_profile

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