Three different kinds of objects are supported to be loaded and dumped back.

  • NamedTuple (stdlib)
  • dataclass (stdlib, since 3.7)
  • attrs (3rd party module)

More or less they all work in the same way: the object is defined, types are assigned for the fields and typedload can inspect the class and create an instance from a dictionary, or go the other way to a dictionary from an instance.

from typing import NamedTuple, List
from pathlib import Path
import typedload
from attr import attrs, attrib

class File(NamedTuple):
    path: Union[str, Path]
    size: int

class Directory:
    name = str
    files: List[File] = attrib(factory=list) # mutable objects require a factory, not a default value

dir = {
    'name': 'home',
    'files': [
        {'path': '/asd.txt', 'size': 0},
        {'path': '/tmp/test.txt', 'size': 30},

# Load the dictionary into objects
d = typedload.load(dir, Directory)
# Out: Directory(files=[File(path='/asd.txt', size=0), File(path='/tmp/test.txt', size=30)])

# Dump the objects into a dictionary

Please see the other sections for more advanced usage.

Optional values

Python typing is a bit confusing about Optional. An Optional[T] means that the field can assume None as value, but the value must still be specified, and can't be omitted.

If, on the other hand, a variable has a default value, then when it's not explicitly specified, the default value is assumed.

Typedload follows exactly the normal behaviour of python and mypy.

import typedload
from typing import Optional, NamedTuple

class User(NamedTuple):
    username: str # Must be assigned
    nickname: Optional[str] # Must be assigned and can be None
    last_login: Optional[int] = None # Not required.

# This fails, as nickname is not present
typedload.load({'username': 'ltworf'}, User)
# TypedloadValueError: Value does not contain fields: {'nickname'} which are necessary for type User

# Those 2 work fine
typedload.load({'username': 'ltworf', 'nickname': None}, User)
# Out: User(username='ltworf', nickname=None, last_login=None)

typedload.load({'username': 'ltworf', 'nickname': 'LtWorf'}, User)
# Out: User(username='ltworf', nickname='LtWorf', last_login=None)

# Those 2 work fine too
typedload.load({'username': 'ltworf', 'nickname': None, 'last_login': None}, User)
# Out: User(username='ltworf', nickname=None, last_login=None)

typedload.load({'username': 'ltworf', 'nickname': None, 'last_login': 666}, User)
# Out: User(username='ltworf', nickname=None, last_login=666)

There is of course no relationship between a default value and Optional, so a default can be anything.

class Coordinates(NamedTuple):
    x: int = 0
    y: int = 0

When dumping values, the fields which match with their default value are omitted.

# Returns an empty dictionary
# Out: {}

# Returns only the x value
typedload.dump(Coordinates(x=42, y=0))
# Out: {'x': 42}

# Returns both coordinates
typedload.dump(Coordinates(), hidedefault=False)
# Out: {'x': 0, 'y': 0}


Disable cast

Many times it is beneficial to disable casting when loading.

For example, if a value can be an object of a certain kind or a string, not disabling casting will cast any invalid object to a string, which might not be desired.

import typedload
from typing import NamedTuple, Union

class Data(NamedTuple):
    data: int

# This loads "{'date': 33}", since the object is not a valid Data object.
typedload.load({'date': 33}, Union[str, Data])
# Out: "{'date': 33}"

# This fails, because the dictionary is not cast to str
typedload.load({'date': 33}, Union[str, Data], basiccast=False)
# TypedloadValueError: Value of dict could not be loaded into typing.Union[str, __main__.Data]

List or single object

Some terribly evil programmers use json in this way:

  • A list in case they have multiple values
  • A single object in case they have one value
  • Nothing at all in case they have zero values

Let's see how typedload can help us survive the situation without having to handle all the cases every time.

import typedload
from typing import NamedTuple, Union, List
import dataclasses

# Multiple data points, a list is used
data0 = {
    "data_points": [{"x": 1.4, "y": 4.1}, {"x": 5.2, "y": 6.13}]

# A single data point. Instead of a list of 1 element, the element is passed directly
data1 = {
    "data_points": {"x": 1.4, "y": 4.1}

# No data points. Instead of an empty list, the object is empty
data2 = {}

# Now we make our objects
class Point(NamedTuple):
    x: float
    y: float

class Data:
    # We make an hidden field to load the data_points field from the json
    # If the value is absent it will default to an empty list
    # The hidden field can either be a List[Point] or directly a Point object
    _data_points: Union[Point, List[Point]] = dataclasses.field(default_factory=list, metadata={'name': 'data_points'})

    def data_points(self) -> List[Point]:
        # We make a property called data_points, that always returns a list
        if not isinstance(self._data_points, list):
            return [self._data_points]
        return self._data_points

# Now we can load our data, and they will all be lists of Point
typedload.load(data0, Data).data_points
# Out: [Point(x=1.4, y=4.1), Point(x=5.2, y=6.13)]

typedload.load(data1, Data).data_points
# Out: [Point(x=1.4, y=4.1)]

typedload.load(data2, Data).data_points
# Out: []


Loading different objects with a Union is of course possible, but some care is needed to avoid unexpected results.

For example, using objects with default values is a bad idea:

import typedload
from typing import NamedTuple, Union, Optional

class Person(NamedTuple):
    name: str = ''

class Data(NamedTuple):
    data: Optional[str] = None

# WARNING: This might return either a Person or a Data. It's random
typedload.load({}, Union[Person, Data])
# Out: Data(data=None)
# Out: Person(name='')

This happens because in the union the order of the type is random, and either object works fine.

So you want to use union on objects that have at least one non default non colliding field.

You might want to use failonextra for objects whose fields are subset of other objects.

import typedload
from typing import NamedTuple, Union

class Person(NamedTuple):
    name: str

class Car(NamedTuple):
    name: str
    model: str

# This should be a Car, not a Person
data = {'name': 'macchina', 'model': 'TP21'}

# WARNING: This can return either a Person or a Car
typedload.load(data, Union[Person, Car])
# Out: Person(name='macchina')
# Out: Car(name='macchina', model='TP21')

# This can be explained by checking that both of these work

typedload.load(data, Person)
# Out: Person(name='macchina')

typedload.load(data, Car)
# Out: Car(name='macchina', model='TP21')

# The data we have works for both objects, and the union
# picks the first one (python sorts them randomly)

# We want to avoid that dictionary to be loaded as Person, so we use failonextra

# This fails
typedload.load(data, Person, failonextra=True)
# TypedloadValueError: Dictionary has unrecognized fields: model and cannot be loaded into Person

# This works
typedload.load(data, Car, failonextra=True)
# Out: Car(name='macchina', model='TP21')

# At this point the union will reliably pick the class that we want
typedload.load(data, Union[Person, Car], failonextra=True)
# Out: Car(name='macchina', model='TP21')

Object type in value

Let's assume that our json objects contain a type field that names the object itself.

This makes conflicts impossible and so in the union the correct type will always be picked.

This is very fast, because typedload will internally use the Literal values to try the best type in the union first.

Slack sends events in this way.

import typedload
from typing import List, Literal, Union, NamedTuple

events = [
    "type": "message",
    "text": "hello"
    "type": "user-joined",
    "username": "giufĂ "

# We have events that can be of many types

class Message(NamedTuple):
    type: Literal['message']
    text: str

class UserJoined(NamedTuple):
    type: Literal['user-joined']
    username: str

# Now to load our event list
typedload.load(events, List[Union[Message, UserJoined]])
# Out: [Message(type='message', text='hello'), UserJoined(type='user-joined', username='giufĂ ')]

Name mangling

Name mangling is primarily used to deal with camel-case in codebases that use snake_case.

It is supported using dataclass and attrs, which provide metadata for the fields.

Let's assume that our original data uses camel case.

Since we are not maniacs, we want the fields in python to use snake_case, we do the following:

from dataclasses import dataclass, field
import typedload

class Character:
    first_name: str = field(metadata={'name': 'firstName'})
    last_name: str = field(metadata={'name': 'lastName'})

data = {"firstName": "Paolino", "lastName": "Paperino"}

character = typedload.load(data, Character)
# Out: Character(first_name='Paolino', last_name='Paperino')

When dumping back the data

# Out: {'lastName': 'Paperino', 'firstName': 'Paolino'}

the names will be converted back to camel case.

Multiple name mangling schemes

If we want to load from a source and dump to another source that uses a different convention, we can use mangle_key

from dataclasses import dataclass, field
import typedload

class Character:
    first_name: str = field(metadata={'name': 'firstName', 'alt_name': 'first-name'})
    last_name: str = field(metadata={'name': 'lastName', 'alt_name': 'last-name'})

data = {"firstName": "Paolino", "lastName": "Paperino"}

character = typedload.load(data, Character)
# Out: Character(first_name='Paolino', last_name='Paperino')

typedload.dump(character, mangle_key='alt_name')
# Out: {'last-name': 'Paperino', 'first-name': 'Paolino'}

Load and dump types from str

Some classes are easy to load and dump from str. For example this is done for Path.

Let's assume we want to have a class that is called SerialNumber that we load from a string and dump back to a string.

Here's how it can be done:

from typing import List
import typedload.datadumper
import typedload.dataloader

class SerialNumber:
    def __init__(self, sn: str) -> None:
        # Some validation
        if ' ' in sn:
            raise Exception('Invalid serial number') = sn

    def __str__(self):

l = typedload.dataloader.Loader()
d = typedload.datadumper.Dumper()

serials = l.load(['1', '2', '3'], List[SerialNumber])

Custom handlers

Let's assume that our codebase uses methods from_json() and to_json() as custom methods, and we want to use those.

from typing import NamedTuple
import typedload.datadumper
import typedload.dataloader
import typedload.exceptions

# This is a NamedTuple, but we want to give priority to the from/to json methods
class Point(NamedTuple):
    x: int
    y: int

    def from_json(data):
        # Checks on the data
        # Typedload handlers must raise subclasses of TypedloadException to work properly
        if not isinstance(data, list):
            raise typedload.exceptions.TypedloadTypeError('List expected')
        if len(data) != 2:
            raise typedload.exceptions.TypedloadTypeError('Only 2 items')
        if not all(isinstance(i, int) for i in data):
            raise typedload.exceptions.TypedloadValueError('Values must be int')

        # Return the data
        return Point(*data)

    def to_json(self):
        return [self.x, self.y]

# We get a loader
l = typedload.dataloader.Loader()

# We find which handler handles NamedTuple
nt_handler = l.index(Point)

# We prepare a new handler
load_handler = (
    lambda x: hasattr(x, 'from_json'), # Anything that has a from_json
    lambda loader, value, type_: type_.from_json(value) # Call the from_json and return its value

# We add the new handler
l.handlers.insert(nt_handler, load_handler)

# Ready to try it!
l.load([1, 2], Point)
# Out: Point(x=1, y=2)

# Now we do the dumper
d = typedload.datadumper.Dumper()
nt_handler = d.index(Point(1,2)) # We need to use a real object to find the handler

dump_handler = (
    lambda x: hasattr(x, 'from_json'), # Anything that has a from_json
    lambda dumper, value, value_type: value.to_json() # Call the from_json and return its value
d.handlers.insert(nt_handler, dump_handler)

d.dump(Point(5, 5))
# Out: [5, 5]

Handlers basically permit doing anything, replacing current handlers or adding more to deal with more types.

You can just append them to the list if you are extending.

Remember to always use typedload exceptions, implement checks, and never modify the handler list after loading or dumping something.