On porting WebPath to Python 3k


I’ve started looking into porting the WebPath code (and eventually XForms Validator) over to Python 3. The first step is external libraries, of which there is only one. WebPath uses the lex.py module from PLY. I had got it into my head that Python 2.x and 3.x were thoroughly incompatible, but leave it to the remarkable David Beazley to blow that assumption out of the water: the latest version of lex.py from SVN works in both 2.x and 3.x.

From there the included 2to3 tool was easy enough to run. (Relatively more difficult was getting 2.6 and 3.0 versions of Python frameworks installed on Mac, but even that wasn’t too bad.) The tool made some moderate changes, and I can run the unit tests, and a few even pass!

The primary remaining problem stems from code where the documentation is a little unclear, and my inexperience is severe. The part of the code in platonicweb.py that reads nasty, grotty HTML via Tidy and produces a clean DOM throws an exception every time. Seems to be a mismatch between String and Byte (encoded string) types, but manifested as a failed XML parse. Sans exception handling, the code looks like:

    page = urllib.request.urlopen(fullurl)
    markup = page.read()
    dom = xml.dom.minidom.parseString(markup)

urlopen() returns a file-like object, but the docs didn’t seem clear on whether it’s like a file opened in byte or string mode. In any case, I’m almost certainly doing it wrong. Suggestions?


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One Reply to “On porting WebPath to Python 3k”

  1. Did you try this?

    import urllib

    from xml.dom.minidom import parse

    page = urllib.urlopen(‘fullurl’)

    markup = page.read()

    dom = parse(markup)

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