How to call an external command in Python?

Five ways to call external command in Python with code examples and video 
10 August

Hype.Codes team have found several ways to solve this issue.

1. Using subprocess module in the standard library:

from subprocess import call
call(["ls", "-l"])

The advantage of subprocess vs system is that it is more flexible.

The subprocess module provides more powerful facilities for spawning new processes and retrieving their results; using that module is preferable to using this function [os.system()].

2. os.system("some_command with args") passes the command and arguments to your system's shell. This is nice because you can actually run multiple commands at once in this manner and set up pipes and input/output redirection. For example:

os.system("some_command < input_file | another_command > output_file")

However, while this is convenient, you have to manually handle the escaping of shell characters such as spaces, etc. On the other hand, this also lets you run commands which are simply shell commands and not actually external programs.

3. stream = os.popen("some_command with args") will do the same thing as os.systemexcept that it gives you a file-like object that you can use to access standard input/output for that process. There are 3 other variants of popen that all handle the i/o slightly differently. If you pass everything as a string, then your command is passed to the shell; if you pass them as a list then you don't need to worry about escaping anything.

4. The call function from the subprocess module. This is basically just like the Popen class and takes all of the same arguments, but it simply waits until the command completes and gives you the return code. For example:

return_code = subprocess.call("echo Hello World", shell=True)  

5. If you're on Python 3.5 or later, you can use the new subprocess.run function, which is a lot like the above but even more flexible and returns a CompletedProcess object when the command finishes executing.

What is YAPF?

A formatter for Python files, developed by Google team
30 October

What is YAPF?

Most of the current formatters for Python --- e.g., autopep8, and pep8ify --- are made to remove lint errors from code. This has some obvious limitations. For instance, code that conforms to the PEP 8 guidelines may not be reformatted. But it doesn't mean that the code looks good.

YAPF takes a different approach. It's based off of 'clang-format', developed by Daniel Jasper. In essence, the algorithm takes the code and reformats it to the best formatting that conforms to the style guide, even if the original code didn't violate the style guide. The idea is also similar to the 'gofmt' tool for the Go programming language: end all holy wars about formatting - if the whole codebase of a project is simply piped through YAPF whenever modifications are made, the style remains consistent throughout the project and there's no point arguing about style in every code review.

The ultimate goal is that the code YAPF produces is as good as the code that a programmer would write if they were following the style guide. It takes away some of the drudgery of maintaining your code.

Code examples

YAPF takes this code:

x = {  'a':37,'b':42,

'c':927}

y = 'hello ''world'
z = 'hello '+'world'
a = 'hello {}'.format('world')
class foo  (     object  ):
  def f    (self   ):
    return       37*-+2
  def g(self, x,y=42):
      return y
def f  (   a ) :
  return      37+-+a[42-x :  y**3]

and reformat it into:

x = {'a': 37, 'b': 42, 'c': 927}

y = 'hello ' 'world'
z = 'hello ' + 'world'
a = 'hello {}'.format('world')


class foo(object):
    def f(self):
        return 37 * -+2

    def g(self, x, y=42):
        return y


def f(a):
    return 37 + -+a[42 - x:y**3]

See GitHub for more information.