In my Python journey I was looking for a "real life" problem and I think I have found a good one at my current work.

The laser CNC machine I'm working with generates reports that contains timings of how the laser was used throughout the day, which metal parts were cut, how long did it take and how much time laser was idle.

Reports are being generated daily. If I was a manager I would be interested in these reports, but in their HTML table format is not very useful, as you can see in these examples in my GitHub project.

Because this is more of a learning task I decided to code it as a tool (?) that provides parsed data so the user can use parsed data as he/she wants.

When coding this project I came up with 3 classes. Each has its own python module:

This is the Parser class

from datetime import timedelta
from collections import defaultdict

import lxml.html as p

class ReportParser:
    """Parser class

    Generally used just to encapsulate methods that parse html report and
    process data.

    def parse(self, file):
        self.file = file
        self.tree = self.get_etree()
        self.raw_data = self.get_raw_data()
        return self.process_data()

    def get_etree(self):
        """Returns root of the parsed document"""
        return p.parse(self.file).getroot()

    def get_raw_data(self):
        """Returns list of dicts with parsed data.

        Method that parse data from html document and wrap it in handy for
        futher proccesing format.

            parsed data wrapped in list
        data = []
        for elem in self.tree.iter('tr'):
            # will not work in python 2
            time, name, status, *_ = elem
            data.append([time.text, name.text, status.text])
        if not data:
            raise TypeError('''Report data is empty, make sure report has data
                             wrapped in <tr> or <TR> tags''')
        return data[1:]  # cut the header tags <tr><th></th></tr>

    def prepare_time(time):
        """Returns timedelta object converted from string

        time : str
            Time string

            timedelta object converted from string

        >>> prepare_time('10:11:12')
        datetime.timedelta(0, 36672)
        t_string = time.split(':')
        return timedelta(hours=int(t_string[0]),

    def prepare_name(name):
        """Returns program name without leading path and program version

        name : str
            Program name

            Simplified program name

        >>> prepare_name('1/2/3/4/some_NAMEver23.04.ISO')
        name = name.split('/')[-1]
        if 'ver' in name:
            name = name.split('ver')[0] + '.ISO'
        return name

    def _convert_time(self):
        """Converts all time string in data to timedelta objects"""
        for data_row in self.raw_data:
            data_row[0] = self.prepare_time(data_row[0])

    def _convert_name(self):
        """Converts all program names in data to simplified representation"""
        for data_row in self.raw_data:
            data_row[1] = self.prepare_name(data_row[1])

    def prepare_data(self):

    def process_data(self):
        """Summarize parsed data

        Explanation of algorithm:
        |   Time   | Name | Status  |
        | 00:00:00 | prg1 | STARTED |
        | 01:00:00 | prg1 | STOPPED |
        | 01:05:00 | prg2 | STARTED |
        | 02:05:00 | prg2 | STOPPED |
        | 02:10:00 | prg3 | STARTED |
        | 03:10:00 | prg3 | STOPPED |
        Each report reprsent the working day.
        Time in first column is timedelta objects.

        At each iteration we need to determine how much time the program was in
        work or laser was off work, time interval between two statuses reprsent
        this time, whether program was in work (started->stopped) or laser
        was in idle (stopped->started).

        'current' - current time in "table", changes at each iteration.

        1st row. prg1 started, calculate how much time passed from previous
        stopped status (idle): 00:00:00 - current (which is 00:00:00),
        new current is 1st row "time" (00:00:00).

        2nd row. prg1 stopped, calculate how much time passed from started
        status: 01:00:00 - current, writes data to dict: {'prg1':01:00:00},
        New current is 2nd row "time" (01:00:00).

        Repeating the procces above until StopIteration raised we'll get:
        data = {'prg1': 01:00:00, 'prg2': 01:00:00, 'prg3': 01:00:00},
        current = 03:10:00 and idle equals to 00:10:00.

        As StopIteration raised we need to know which status was last, in case
        above it is "STOPPED", so we need to calculate how much time passed
        from the time in last row to the end of the day:
        24:00:00 - 03:10:00, idle + 20:50:00 which sums up to a total 21:00:00
        now: data = {'prg1': 01:00:00, 'prg2': 01:00:00, 'prg3': 01:00:00,
                     'idle': 21:00:00}

        In case where last status is STARTED we need to calculate how much time
        last program was in work till the day end and add it to results.
        idle = timedelta()  # collects ammout of time laser wasn't working
        current = timedelta()  # used to determine current position in table
        data = defaultdict(timedelta)
        # Using manual iteration because we need to handle the end of iteration
        # and because I don't want to use for/else thing.
        i = iter(self.raw_data)
            while True:
                data_row = next(i)  # look like that: [00:00:00, prg1, STARTED]
                time, name, status = data_row
                if status == 'STARTED':
                    idle += time - current
                    current = time
                    data[name] += time - current
                    current = time
        except StopIteration:
            if status == 'STARTED':
                data[name] += timedelta(days=1) - current
                idle += timedelta(days=1) - current
        data['idle'] += idle
        return data

This is the Report class that represents the HTML report:

import os

from .utils import get_date

class Report:
    A simple report class that store data related to report.
    Reports with the same date counts as equal.

    def __init__(self, path, data=None):
        self.path = path
        self.name = os.path.split(self.path)[1]
        self.date = get_date(self.name)
        self.data = data

    def programs(self):
        """Returns parsed programs for a report"""
        return self.data.keys()

    def timings(self):
        """Returns parsed timings for a report"""
        return self.data.values()

    def items(self):
        return self.data.items()

    def __eq__(self, other):
        return self.date == other

    def __gt__(self, other):
        return self.date > other

    def __lt__(self, other):
        return self.date < other

    def __ge__(self, other):
        return self.__gt__(other) or self.__eq__(other)

    def __le__(self, other):
        return self.__lt__(other) or self.__eq__(other)

    def __hash__(self):
        return hash(self.date)

    def __repr__(self):
        return "Report({}, {})".format(self.name,

This is Storage class which is used to store the Reports and do some job on sequences of Reports:

import pickle

from collections import defaultdict, Sequence
from datetime import timedelta

from .report import Report
from .utils import update_default_dict, convert_date

class Storage:
    """Storage class"""

    def __init__(self, path=None, date_format='%Y_%m_%d'):
        self.date_format = date_format
        self.content = set()
        if path:
            self.path = path
            except FileNotFoundError:
            self.path = 'datadump.pickle'

    def reports_names(self):
        """Storage property. Returns names of reports stored in storage"""
        return {x.name for x in self.content}

    def save(self, path=None):
        """Serialize storage content to a pickle file

        path : str
            Path where pickle file should be saved. If None using self.path
        if path is None:
            path = self.path
        with open(path, 'wb') as f:
            pickle.dump(self.content, f)

    def load(self, path, override=False):
        """Deserialize pickle file to a python object

        path : str
            Path to a pickle file that should be loaded
        override: bool
            Delete current storage content if True
        if override:
            self.content = set()
        with open(path, 'rb') as f:

    def get_by_date(self, date):
        """Returns report object from storage content according to passed date

        date : str | datetime
            Interesting report's date.

            Report object with .date == date
            If there is no Report objects with .date == date in self.content

        >>> get_by_date('2017_04_04')
        Report(2017_04_04.html, 2017_04_04)
        >>> get_by_date('2032_04_07')
        item = self.filter_by_date(self.content, date, date)
        return item.pop() if item else None

    def filter_by_date(self, data, _max, _min):
        """Returns Report objects in _max, _min date range

        data: sequence
            Sequence with Report objects to filter
        _max : str | datetime
            maximal date limit to filter
        _min : str | datetime
            minimal date limit to filter

            Set with report objects in _max, _min date range
            Empty if there is no reports in given range in self.content
        _max, _min = [convert_date(x, self.date_format) for x in (_max, _min)]
        return {x for x in data if _max >= x >= _min}

    def add(self, item):
        """Adds item to storage.content

        You can use this method to add a particular Report or a
        sequence of reports.

        item : Report | sequence
            item to add to the content
        if isinstance(item, str):
            raise TypeError("""Not supported type.
                            Make sure passed sequence is
                            one of the following types:
                            list, tuple or set.""")
        # We need to use two different methods depending on if item is
        # unhashable or iterable.
        elif isinstance(item, Sequence) or isinstance(item, set):
        elif isinstance(item, Report):
            # used for non iterable, hashable item.
            raise TypeError("""Not supported type.
                            Make sure passed item is either Report instance
                            or a sequence""")

    def _add_sequence(self, seq):
        """Adds sequence to self.content

        Adds sequence only if every item in this sequence is Report instance

        seq : sequence
            sequence to add
        if all(isinstance(x, Report) for x in seq):
            raise TypeError('Sequence contains not instances of Report class')

    def _add_item(self, item):
        """Adds item to self.content

        Adds item only if items is Report instance

        item : Report
            Report to add

    def delete(self, date):
        """Deletes report from self.content

        Use this method to delete report with .date == date

        date : str | datetime
            Report's date
        item = self.get_by_date(date)
        if item is not None:
            print('No {} report in content'.format(date.strftime('%Y_%m_%d')))

    def dump_data(to_dump):
        """Returns summarized data of all passed reports

        to_dump : sequence
            Sequence that contains reports

        data : defaultdict
            defauldict with summarized data of all passed reports
        data = defaultdict(timedelta)
        for item in to_dump:
            update_default_dict(data, item)
        return data

And there is some utility functions:

from datetime import datetime, timedelta

def convert_timedelta(item):
    """Returns formated timedelta string representation

    Function used to covnert timedelta string representation form this:
    '1 day, 10:11:12' to this: '34h 11m 12s'.

    item : timedelta
        timedelta object that should be converted

        timedelta string representation
    if isinstance(item, timedelta):
        seconds = int(item.total_seconds())
        hours, remainder = divmod(seconds, 3600)
        minutes, seconds = divmod(remainder, 60)
        formated = '{}h {}m {}s'.format(hours, minutes, seconds)
        raise ValueError(item, 'is not timedelta object')
    return formated

def convert_date(date_string, s_format='%Y_%m_%d'):
    """Returns datetime object

    Function used to convert string to datetime object.
    If date_string is already a datetime object just returns it.

    date_string : string | datetime
        string or datetime object
    s_format : string
        format of the date_string

        datetime object converted or not converted from date_string
    if isinstance(date_string, str):
        return datetime.strptime(date_string, s_format)
    elif isinstance(date_string, datetime):
        return date_string
        raise ValueError(date_string, 'is not a string or datetime object')

def update_default_dict(main, other):
    """Summarize values of two defaultdicts

    Function sumarize two defaultdicts values if they both have similar
    keys and just adds key and value if don't

    main : defaultdict
        dict that should be updated
    other : defaultdict
        dict whih keys and values will be used to update main defaultdict

    for k, v in other.items():
        main[k] += v

def get_date(name):
    """Returns convert_date() function with extracted date string as argument

    Function extract date string from a report name, for example:
    get_date('2017_07_04.html') will return convert_date('2017_07_04')

    name : str
        report name

        the result of calling convert_date() function with name as argument
    return convert_date(name.split('.')[0])

And here how you can use it:

import os
import sys

from ppowerparser.parse import ReportParser
from ppowerparser.report import Report
from ppowerparser.storage import Storage

folder = r'C:\some\path\to\folder\with\reports' 

# collect *.html files in folder
files = [x for x in os.listdir(folder) if x.endswith('.html')]

parser = ReportParser()  # creates parser itself

storage = Storage()  # storage to store parsed data

# Parse each valid html report in folder, create Report object for
# each file and adds them to the storage.
for item in files:
    path = os.path.join(folder, item)
    data = parser.parse(path)
    storage.add(Report(path, data))

storage.save()  # serialize set of Report objects to a pickle file

# Summarize data from Report objects
data = storage.dump_data(storage.content) 

# Sort data in descending order.
sorted_tuples = sorted(data.items(), key=lambda x: x[1],

print('\nSummarized data: \n') 

for k, v in sorted_tuples:
    print('{} - {}'.format(k, convert_timedelta(v)))

Which will output something like this:

Summarized data:  

push_bezLogo_S3_19.8.ISO - 34h 20m 25s  
idle - 26h 53m 44s  
ProfilKrepleniyGruza_S2.5.ISO - 16h 53m 52s  
745461.001_01_02.ISO - 15h 30m 55s  
745322.010_VER23.7_S3.ISO - 10h 49m 18s  
745312.012_S4_.ISO - 8h 51m 46s  
6306026_50_S4.ISO - 7h 45m 21s  
VPO.ISO - 0h 3m 5s  
745275.003_5.3.ISO - 0h 2m 24s  
FOCAL_TEST_NEW.ISO - 0h 1m 24s  
735636.004_S2_5.3.ISO - 0h 0m 34s  
741121.001_S3.ISO - 0h 0m 29s  
batman-logo-bw.ISO - 0h 0m 28s  

I know there is a lot of code in my question and I would appreciate so much if someone could go through it and tell me about what he or she thinks, and maybe answer questions about a couple things that bother me:

  • Is this a normal thing to have 3 modules for 3 different classes? As I can judge it helps to separate/organize code, but also I've heard that a good python package should't contain a lot of modules (famous youtube video 'Stop writing classes') and classes doing code separation very good, so maybe I should use 1 module that will contain all 3 classes?

  • Is the ReportParser class even necessary? Maybe best approach to this kind of problem is to just place bunch of functions in a single file?

  • Do you find Storage class confusing and unnecessary?

repo now contains refactored code 05.11.2017 If it's easier to go through the code in an IDE/locally, here is a link to the repository on github.


1 Answer 1


I'm not sure how to review this, because I'm not sure what you're trying to do. So here's two partial reviews, instead.

It's a program

If you're trying to write a program that does useful stuff, this is a failure. The output is not in any useful format, and there isn't an interface that will let me get to the data on my own.

Structurally, you spend a lot of your top-level code working with the storage interface. Given that the data are stored in text files (html), and there is no argument parsing, that seems ridiculous. Why do you put anything into a pickle file? What are you really doing here?

If you just count the class/module references, this is a program about storage, not a program about parsing or reports.

I had a look at one of your example html files. It appears to be dead simple - apparently, one "paragraph" in the report contains a handful (4? 5? 6?) pieces of data. Each paragraph is separate from the next, and while they do indicate begin/end events, there is no real connection between them - you need to determine that based on the field data. (It's not like there's a <job> tag and a matching </job> tag or anything that have to be paired.)

I would suggest that you adopt the model of the csv module: take a file spec, or a readable object, as your object parameter. Parse the fields of the file. Return an iterable, or return a generator. Let the caller do everything else.

filespec = r'c:\path\to\file.html'

with cncreader.open(filespec) as cncreport:
    for row in cncreport:

In this way, your parser can truly be a parser. Honestly, I don't think you need a storage, whatever that is. You might need a report, but I don't really think so - I can't see what you're doing that would presently justify it.

Instead, think about writing a "cnc report -> csv" conversion utility to just reformat the data into a more useable format. Managers love spreadsheets.

If you actually want to post-process the parsed data, to generate the busy/idle information, for example, you can do it in the loop above with just a dictionary. That code will contain lots of references to the row data, and the various fields - it will look like a program about analyzing the row data, not about storage.

It's a class library

On the other hand, maybe you're trying to write a library of classes for managing CNC report files, and the program is just a proof-of-concept. In that case, your classes are not quite right.

First, the Parser class should be internal to the Report. The only useful object you have is a Report. Everything else is an implementation detail. "How do you get the file information into the report object?" That's an implementation detail! "How do you manage multiple report files in a single directory?" That's an implementation detail!

Of course, in Java "implementation detail" means private. Python is a "consenting adult language" so it doesn't mind sharing private stuff with you, but you still shouldn't be showing off your private stuff (unless your name is Harvey Weinstein) (and even then, you shouldn't). So your three modules should be one module. And that one module can define the Report class, plus whatever internals it wants. And it can either contain them, or import them. But that shouldn't matter to the user, because the user should just import cncreports or whatever and have everything just work.

Which leads me to Report: why on earth would I write code like:

if report1 < report2:

Reports are aggregate objects. If there is going to be a comparison between two report attributes, allow the user to write out which attributes are being compared. That code makes no sense. And why would one attribute take precedence over all the others in a report? Why wouldn't idle time or busy time be the default attribute for comparison?

In general, if you're not implementing a special high performance numeric library, you shouldn't overload the dundermethods for comparison. And you should never do that, because there's already a high performance numeric library!

Instead, make sure that the attributes of the report object are returned in a sensibly typed fashion. You parsed the date information as a datetime. Okay. Make sure that report1.date always contains/returns a valid datetime, and let the user do this:

if report1.date < report2.date:

that's much clearer. And datetime already has a fine set of dundermethods for comparisons.

Finally, consider your implementation of the parsing. You write:

def parse(self, file):
    self.file = file
    self.tree = self.get_etree()
    self.raw_data = self.get_raw_data()
    return self.process_data()

Looking at the code, self.get_etree() is a function that does not modify self but instead just returns a value. That value is stored into self.tree and then the only place it is ever used is within self.get_raw_data(). Why is that not a parameter?

The call to self.get_raw_data() iterates over all the tr tags in the input, building a list. Stop building lists! Start generating instead! Instead of building a list, and then iterating over it again and again and again, just process it one time and yield the results. Seriously.

But anyway, get_raw_data() returns a list. Which you store.

Then you call self.prepare_data(), which takes self.raw_data as an implicit parameter. And returns nothing. Because ... why? Why did you change coding style in the middle of your parsing? If every other method returns the result, why does this one not do so? Reading the code, it's probably because you are modifying raw_data in place (making it not raw data anymore). But still, if you're going to do functional, do functional throughout. If you're going to rely on storing to self, then store to self throughout.

The self.process_data() method totally changes the format of the data, and produces a summary. I think that code should be moved out of the parser and out of the Report class, into whatever program you write that actually works with the data. Instead, IMO, once you have the fields separated and converted into whatever type, I think you're done.

I will also mention that the removal of file paths and version tags should not be done in the parsing step, or in the report creation. You might add that as a helper method on the report, or as an object configuration property. But if someone creates \secret\hidden\job\with\the\same\name.ISO, it should be possible to detect that without having to rewrite your library.


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