Installing Python on macOS via Homebrew, at the time of writing, will not install the most current version of Python available, despite it being released 5 months ago.

brew install python@3.8

# Add to .zshenv
path=(/usr/local/opt/python@3.8/libexec/bin ${path})

Do you really need to close?

In business, yes. In Python, however, no*. For more information, see below for a copy of the explanation I gave to a collaborator on GitHub:


Once the reference count of file reaches zero, which happens at the end of this try block, CPython will call the __del__() method of the underlying path-like object, which makes the call to close() therein. An argument can be made that how Python manages memory depends on which Python you're using. Most people use CPython, which uses this reference count system, so we have the guarantee that the file will receive the necessary call to close(). But since this is running within a Docker container, and we know we're using CPython, I don't think it's worth changing this line of code to preserve niche cross-Python compatibility concerns, like maintaining support for Jython 🎤💧

Silencing the python Console Welcome Message

Normally, when you open the python console, the following welcome message will appear when you enter.

Python 3.7.3 (default, Jun 19 2019, 07:38:49)
[Clang 10.0.1 (clang-1001.0.46.4)] on darwin
Type "help", "copyright", "credits" or "license" for more information.

To disable it, use the following command to enter the python console:

python -q


A set in Python is implemented as a hash table. It has O(1) lookup and insertion time.


from os.path import *
from glob import glob

home = expanduser('~')
# => /Users/tommy

sym_folder = join(home, 'tmp')
# => /Users/tommy/tmp

abs_folder = realpath(sym_folder)
# => /Users/tommy/real/location/folder

files = glob(expanduser('~/notes/*.md'))
# => ['/Users/tommy/notes/', '/Users/tommy/notes/']

Jupyter Notebook

A Jupyter Notebook brew install jupyter is an open source web application that allows you to create and share documents containing snippets of pre-executed code.

The Jupyter Notebook supports the following languages, among others:

The Jupyter Notebook will also render LaTeX and Markdown, allowing for flexible formatting of data.

jupyter notebook --generate-config
python -c "from notebook.auth import passwd; print(passwd('${pass}'))"

Setting Up pylint

pylint --generate-rcfile > ~/.pylintrc

If pylint notifies you about a linting error that you don't like, add it as an entry, seperated by a comma, to disable. e.g.



Getting Started

Plotly is a visualization tool you can install with pip3 install plotly. You can create an account at and generate an API key. Once you have, edit the ~/.plotly/.credentials and insert the following information.

  "username": "tommytrojan",
  "api_key": "Fou4dE18o4TUtCz91n6O"

Plotting Data

Plotting Online

import pandas as pd
import plotly.plotly as py
import plotly.figure_factory as ff

df = pd.read_csv("earnings.csv")
table = ff.create_table(df)
py.iplot(table, filename='table1')

Plotting Offline

import plotly.offline as py
import plotly.graph_objs as go
from plotly.offline import init_notebook_mode, plot, iplot

data = go.Bar(x=df.height, y=df.weight)
figure = [data]
py.iplot(data, filename='height_weight')

The only big difference between plotting online and plotting offline is whether to use plotly.plotly or plotly.offline for your import. Both will include the plot() and iplot() methods.

Regular Expressions

Use the re library for regular expressions in python. Regular expression patterns are created by calling re.compile() which accepts two arguments, a raw string, and flags. To specify multiple flags, specify each with the bitwise OR operator |

Regular Expression Flags

Flag Function
re.A Make the pattern match only ASCII characters
re.I Make the pattern case insensitive
re.M The ^ & $ special characters match the start/end of each line in a string, instead of the start/end of the string itself
re.S Allow the . character to match newline characters
re.X Ignore whitespace in the pattern definition, and allow for comments

Special Characters

Special Character Function
+ Match 1 or more
* Match 0 or more
? 0 or 1
{k} Match k consecutive occurances of the preceeding pattern
{m,n} Match from m to n consecutive occurences (inclusive) of the preceeding pattern (as many as possible)
{m,n}? Match from m to n consecutive occurrences (inclusive) of the preceeding pattern (as few as possible)
. Match any character except a newline \n
^ Match the start of the string
$ Match the end of string
( Specify the start of capture group
) Specify the end of capture group

Escaped Characters

Escaped Character Matches
\t Horizontal tab
\v Vertical tab
\n Newline
\f Form feed
\r Carriage return
\w [a-zA-Z0–9_]
\d [0–9]
\s [\t\n\r\f\v]
\b Specify a word boundary

Coding example

# Import the RegEx library
import re

# Create a raw-string pattern
pattern = re.compile(r'http[s]?://([^/?:]+)', re.A|re.I)
# Search for the text matching the pattern in "sample"
text = ''
match =
# =>
# =>

Dates, Times, Timestamps

ISO8601 and RFC3339 are the documents that outline how date and time should be denoted on computers. 1996-12-20T00:39:57Z is an example of an ISO8601 timestamp. The Z denotes that this timestamp is in zulu time, the UTC timezone. The UTC timezone is Coordinated Universal Time and, depending on the time of year, is either 7 or 8 hours ahead of the time in California. The equivalent time in California would be represented as 1996-12-19T16:39:57-08:00

strftime and strptime

The datetime library has a few packages:

Parsing a non-ISO timestamp into a datetime object

moment = datetime.strptime('10-05-2017 05:00:00 PM', '%m-%d-%Y %I:%M:%S %p')


datetime.datetime(year=2017, month=10, day=5, hour=17, second=0)

Working with daylight savings

# If it's currently daylight savings
if time.daylight:
tz = time.altzone
# => 25200 (# of seconds offset from UTC)

tz = time.timezone
# => 28800 (# of seconds offset from UTC)

# => ('PST', 'PDT')

Working with local timezones

# => time.struct_time(tm_year=2019, tm_mon=7, tm_mday=17, tm_hour=11, tm_min=42, tm_sec=15, tm_wday=2, tm_yday=198, tm_isdst=1)

moment = datetime.datetime.utcnow()

# => 2019-07-17T11:25:07

# => 2019-07-31T02:21:15.125

print(moment.isoformat(sep=' ', timespec='microseconds'))
# => 2019-07-3102:21:15.125991

Getting the local timezone information

import datetime
timezone =

Setting the timezone

import time
import os
os.environ['TZ'] = 'US/Eastern'
# => ('EST', 'EDT')

Printing out all available timezones

from zoneinfo import ZoneInfo
from pathlib import Path
for area in ['America', 'Europe', 'Asia', 'Africa', 'Australia', 'Antarctica', 'Etc']:
    for zone in Path('/usr/share/zoneinfo').glob(f'{area}/*'):

Some common timezones have been included below:

from zoneinfo import ZoneInfo
# Constructing a timezone object
tz = timezone('America/Los_Angeles')

# Other valid timezones included below
ZoneInfo('Pacific/Honolulu') # -10:00
ZoneInfo('America/Juneau') # -09:00
ZoneInfo('America/Los_Angeles') # -08:00
ZoneInfo('America/Denver') # -07:00
ZoneInfo('America/Chicago') # -06:00
ZoneInfo('America/New_York') # -05:00
ZoneInfo('Europe/London') # +00:00
ZoneInfo('Europe/Paris') # +01:00
ZoneInfo('Europe/Athens') # +02:00
ZoneInfo('Europe/Moscow') # +03:00
ZoneInfo('Asia/Tehran') # +03:30
ZoneInfo('Asia/Dubai') # +04:00
ZoneInfo('Asia/Kabul') # +04:30 (capitol of Afghanistan)
ZoneInfo('Asia/Dushanbe') # +05:00 (capitol of Tajikstan)
ZoneInfo('Asia/Kathmandu') # +05:45 (capitol of Nepal)
ZoneInfo('Asia/Dhaka') # +06:00 (capitol of Bangladesh)
ZoneInfo('Asia/Bangkok') # +07:00
ZoneInfo('Asia/Shanghai') # +08:00
ZoneInfo('Asia/Tokyo') # +09:00
ZoneInfo('Australia/Sydney') # +10:00
ZoneInfo('Asia/Noumea') # +11:00 (capitol of New Caledonia)
ZoneInfo('Pacific/Fiji') # +12:00

Custom Module Locations

If you have your own modules that you want to use, there's a way to tell python where to look for a module that are added by the import keyword.

To do this, set the environment variable PYTHONPATH in your shell, and export that variable. For example, export PYTHONPATH=~/example/python/modules. Now, all of the folders within this directory will be considered a module. For instance, if ~/example/python/modules/ex was a folder containing python code, now you'd be able to type import ex in future python programs.


Server-Side TCP Socket

import socket
# Create a TCP socket
mysocket = socket.socket(

# Create an address tuple, the interface to bind to, and a port number
address = ('', 1234)

# Bind the socket to the address

# Listen, allowing 1 pending connection

# Listen until the process is killed
while True:

    # Save the accepted connection
    connection, address = mysocket.accept()

    print(f"Accepted connection from {address}")

    # Continue until the transmission has no more data
    while True:
        data, orig_address = connection.recvfrom(4096)

        # If there's no data being transmitted, exit
        if not data:
            # For now, reply to the same connection, echoing the message
            reply = f"echo \'{data.decode()}\'".encode()
            connection.sendto(reply, address)

    # Close the connection now that the message has been replied to
from socket import socket

mysocket = socket.socket()

address = ('', 1234)

# Connect the socket to the server

# Send a message to the server, registering the name of the client
message = f'register {}'

# Send the message to the connection
mysocket.sendto(message.encode(), address)

# Save the reply from the response, as well as the address
reply, address = mysocket.recvfrom(4096)

# Decode the reply's binary encoding, store as UTF-8 string
reply = reply.decode()



ofile = open(args.logfile, 'w')
ofile.write('connected to server and registered\n')
ofile.write('waiting for messages...\n')


from pandas import DataFrame, Series, read_json
barset["EMA12"] = barset["o"].ewm(span=12).mean()
barset.to_json('ofile.json', date_format='iso', date_unit='s', orient='index')
df = read_json('ofile1.json', orient='index', date_unit='s')

Type Hints

from typing import List, Set, Dict, Tuple, Optional, Callable, Iterator, Union

# For simple built-in types, just use the name of the type
x: int = 1
x: float = 1.0
x: bool = True
x: str = "test"
x: bytes = b"test"

# For collections, the name of the type is capitalized, and the
# name of the type inside the collection is in brackets
x: List[int] = [1]
x: Set[int] = {6, 7}

# Same as above, but with type comment syntax
x = [1]  # type: List[int]

# For mappings, we need the types of both keys and values
x: Dict[str, float] = {'field': 2.0}

# For tuples, we specify the types of all the elements
x: Tuple[int, str, float] = (3, "yes", 7.5)

# Use Optional[] for values that could be None
x: Optional[str] = some_function()
# Mypy understands a value can't be None in an if-statement
if x is not None:
# If a value can never be None due to some invariants, use an assert
assert x is not None
# This is how you annotate a function definition
def stringify(num: int) -> str:
    return str(num)

# And here's how you specify multiple arguments
def plus(num1: int, num2: int) -> int:
    return num1 + num2

# Add default value for an argument after the type annotation
def f(num1: int, my_float: float = 3.5) -> float:
    return num1 + my_float

# This is how you annotate a callable (function) value
x: Callable[[int, float], float] = f

# A generator function that yields ints is secretly just a function that
# returns an iterator of ints, so that's how we annotate it
def g(n: int) -> Iterator[int]:
    i = 0
    while i < n:
        yield i
        i += 1

# You can of course split a function annotation over multiple lines
def send_email(address: Union[str, List[str]],
               sender: str,
               cc: Optional[List[str]],
               bcc: Optional[List[str]],
               body: Optional[List[str]] = None
               ) -> bool:


Using the subprocess library, you can execute other commands from within your script, and capture the standard input and standard output of those commands


from pathlib import Path

filepath = Path.home() / 'Downloads' / 'meme.jpg'

Function Parameters

There is a new function parameter syntax / to indicate that some function parameters must be specified positionally and cannot be used as keyword arguments

def f(a, b, /, c, d, *, e, f):
    print(a, b, c, d, e, f)

One use case for this notation is that it allows pure Python functions to fully emulate behaviors of existing C coded functions. For example, the built-in divmod() function does not accept keyword arguments:

def divmod(a, b, /):
    "Emulate the built in divmod() function"
    return (a // b, a % b)

Python Image Library

pip install pillow


List Comprehension

text = "some text"
letters = [char for char in text if x !=" "]

# => ['s', 'o', 'm', 'e', 't', 'e', 'x', 't']

Set Comprehension


Iterable is a “sequence” of data, you can iterate over using a loop.

The easiest visible example of iterable can be a list of integers, such as [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7]

However, it’s possible to iterate over other types of data like a str(), dict(), tuple(), set(), etc.

print(hasattr(str, '__iter__'))
# => "True"

print(hasattr(bool, '__iter__'))
# => "False"

Parsing Arguments

Attached below is a program I made to import CSV data exported from my Apple Card into the budgeting software YNAB

import webbrowser
from datetime import datetime
from sys import exit
from json import load, dumps
from os import getenv
from sys import stdin, stdout, stderr, argv
from csv import DictReader, DictWriter
from urllib.request import Request, urlopen

from argparse import ArgumentParser, FileType

parser = ArgumentParser(
    usage='%(prog)s [CSV_FILE]',
    description='%(prog)s: a data pipeline'
    help='option to print CSV to stdout'
options = parser.parse_args()

endpoint = ''

def get_account_id():
    account_request = Request(

    account_request.add_header('Authorization', f'Bearer {api_token}')

    account_response = urlopen(account_request)
    accounts = load(account_response)['data']['accounts']

    ynab_account_id = None

    for account in accounts:
        if account['name'] == 'Apple Card':
            ynab_account_id = account['id']

    if ynab_account_id is None:
        raise (ValueError('ynab: unable to find account "Apple Card"\n'))

    return ynab_account_id

if (api_token := getenv('YNAB_TOKEN')) is None:
    exit('ynab: expected environment variable ${YNAB_TOKEN}')

# Force input to be provided via file redirection
if stdin.isatty():
    if len(argv) == 1:
            'ynab: please supply the CSV file via standard input\n',
            '\tusage: `ynab < ./Downloads/apple.csv > ~/ynab.csv`\n'

apple_csv = DictReader(
    f=stdin,  # The file to read from (standard input)
    fieldnames=None,  # Assume the CSV file's first row contains the field names
    dialect='unix',  # Specify the encoding method for the CSV file

expected_fields = [
    'Transaction Date',
    'Clearing Date',
    'Amount (USD)'

if apple_csv.fieldnames != expected_fields:
        'ynab: problem reading CSV header row\n',

ynab_csv = DictWriter(
    f=stdout,  # The file to write to (standard output)
    fieldnames=['Date', 'Payee', 'Memo', 'Amount'],  # Specify the field names
    dialect='unix',  # Specify the encoding method for the CSV file

csv_transactions = list()

api_transactions = list()

account_id = get_account_id()

# Create a list of api_transactions
for row in apple_csv:

    # Format the date from 2020/01/13 to 2020-01-13
    date = datetime.strptime(
        row['Transaction Date'], '%m/%d/%Y'

    # Write an entry to the CSV file
        'Date': date,
        'Payee': row['Merchant'],
        'Amount': '{:.2f}'.format(float(row['Amount (USD)']) * -1),
        'Memo': ''

    # Store the next transaction as a dictionary, append it to the list
        'account_id': account_id,
        'date': date,
        'payee_name': row['Merchant'],
        'cleared': 'cleared',
        'approved': False,
        'amount': int(float(row['Amount (USD)']) * -1_000)

if options.verbose:
    # Write the header row to the CSV file (the field names)
    # Write each transaction in the list to a row in the CSV file

data = {
    'transactions': api_transactions

transaction_request = Request(
        'Authorization': f'Bearer {api_token}',
        "Content-Type": 'application/json',

transaction_response = urlopen(transaction_request)
# print(f'ynab: successfully imported {len(api_transactions)} into YNAB')

# Open YNAB for the user on their default web browser'')



There's two main ways to substitute values into the contents of the template string. You can use formatted string literals (more commonly known simply as "f-strings"), or you can use the old string formatting method, which uses the modulo % operator, reminiscent of the C-style printf() syntax.

Python Caching

You can disable python caching entirely, preventing .pyc files from being written when source modules are imported.

Python won’t try to write .pyc files on the import of source modules. See also PYTHONDONTWRITEBYTECODE.

Starting from Python 3.8, you can configure the environment to prevent Python from reading and writing __pycache__ directories, sourcing them instead from a separate location on the filesystem, specified by you.



Gmail's API requires a MIME type, but teaches you how to create a MIME message in their documentation.