unpluggd unpluggd - 1 year ago 72
Python Question

Fastest way to convert a dict's keys & values from `unicode` to `str`?

I'm receiving a dict from one "layer" of code upon which some calculations/modifications are performed before passing it onto another "layer". The original dict's keys & "string" values are

, but the layer they're being passed onto only accepts

This is going to be called often, so I'd like to know what would be the fastest way to convert something like:

{ u'spam': u'eggs', u'foo': True, u'bar': { u'baz': 97 } }


{ 'spam': 'eggs', 'foo': True, 'bar': { 'baz': 97 } }

...bearing in mind the non-"string" values need to stay as their original type.

Any thoughts?

Answer Source
DATA = { u'spam': u'eggs', u'foo': frozenset([u'Gah!']), u'bar': { u'baz': 97 },
         u'list': [u'list', (True, u'Maybe'), set([u'and', u'a', u'set', 1])]}

def convert(data):
    if isinstance(data, basestring):
        return str(data)
    elif isinstance(data, collections.Mapping):
        return dict(map(convert, data.iteritems()))
    elif isinstance(data, collections.Iterable):
        return type(data)(map(convert, data))
        return data

print DATA
print convert(DATA)
# Prints:
# {u'list': [u'list', (True, u'Maybe'), set([u'and', u'a', u'set', 1])], u'foo': frozenset([u'Gah!']), u'bar': {u'baz': 97}, u'spam': u'eggs'}
# {'bar': {'baz': 97}, 'foo': frozenset(['Gah!']), 'list': ['list', (True, 'Maybe'), set(['and', 'a', 'set', 1])], 'spam': 'eggs'}


  • You've imported the collections module and can make use of the abstract base classes it provides
  • You're happy to convert using the default encoding (use data.encode('utf-8') rather than str(data) if you need an explicit encoding).

If you need to support other container types, hopefully it's obvious how to follow the pattern and add cases for them.