Here's a simple example of how to modify pickling behavior for a class. The TextReader class opens a text file, and returns the line number and line contents each time its readline() method is called. If a TextReader instance is pickled, all attributes except the file object member are saved. When the instance is unpickled, the file is reopened, and reading resumes from the last location. The __setstate__() and __getstate__() methods are used to implement this behavior.
class TextReader: """Print and number lines in a text file.""" def __init__(self, file): self.file = file self.fh = open(file) self.lineno = 0 def readline(self): self.lineno = self.lineno + 1 line = self.fh.readline() if not line: return None if line.endswith("\n"): line = line[:-1] return "%d: %s" % (self.lineno, line) def __getstate__(self): odict = self.__dict__.copy() # copy the dict since we change it del odict['fh'] # remove filehandle entry return odict def __setstate__(self,dict): fh = open(dict['file']) # reopen file count = dict['lineno'] # read from file... while count: # until line count is restored fh.readline() count = count - 1 self.__dict__.update(dict) # update attributes self.fh = fh # save the file object
A sample usage might be something like this:
>>> import TextReader >>> obj = TextReader.TextReader("TextReader.py") >>> obj.readline() '1: #!/usr/local/bin/python' >>> # (more invocations of obj.readline() here) ... obj.readline() '7: class TextReader:' >>> import pickle >>> pickle.dump(obj,open('save.p','w'))
If you want to see that pickle works across Python processes, start another Python session, before continuing. What follows can happen from either the same process or a new process.
>>> import pickle >>> reader = pickle.load(open('save.p')) >>> reader.readline() '8: "Print and number lines in a text file."'
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