jml jml - 6 months ago 12
Python Question

how to replace (update) text in a file line by line

I am trying to replace text in a text file by reading each line, testing it, then writing if it needs to be updated. I DO NOT want to save as a new file, as my script already backs up the files first and operates on the backups.

Here is what I have so far... I get fpath from os.walk() and I guarantee that the pathmatch var returns correctly:

fpath = os.path.join(thisdir, filename)
with open(fpath, 'r+') as f:
for line in f.readlines():
if '<a href="' in line:
for test in filelist:
pathmatch = file_match(line, test)
if pathmatch is not None:
repstring = filelist[test] + pathmatch
print 'old line:', line
line = line.replace(test, repstring)
print 'new line:', line
f.write(line)


But what ends up happening is that I only get a few lines (updated correctly, mind you, but repeated from earlier in the file) corrected. I think this is a scoping issue, afaict.

*Also: I would like to know how to only replace the text upon the first instance of the match, for ex., I don't want to match the display text, only the underlying href.

Answer

First, you want to write the line whether it matches the pattern or not. Otherwise, you're writing out only the matched lines.

Second, between reading the lines and writing the results, you'll need to either truncate the file (can f.seek(0) then f.truncate()), or close the original and reopen. Picking the former, I'd end up with something like:

fpath = os.path.join(thisdir, filename)
with open(fpath, 'r+') as f:
    lines = f.readlines()
    f.seek(0)
    f.truncate()
    for line in lines:
        if '<a href="' in line:
            for test in filelist:
                pathmatch = file_match(line, test)
                    if pathmatch is not None: 
                        repstring = filelist[test] + pathmatch
                        line = line.replace(test, repstring)
        f.write(line)