Set - 6

Question 1 :

How do I send mail from a Python script?
Use the standard library module smtplib.

Answer :

Here's a very simple interactive mail sender that uses it. This method will work on any host that supports an SMTP listener. 

import sys, smtplib 
fromaddr = raw_input("From: ")
toaddrs = raw_input("To: ").split(',')
print "Enter message, end with ^D:"
msg = ''
while 1:
line = sys.stdin.readline()
if not line:
msg = msg + line
# The actual mail send
server = smtplib.SMTP('localhost')
server.sendmail(fromaddr, toaddrs, msg)

A Unix-only alternative uses sendmail. The location of the sendmail program varies between systems; sometimes it is /usr/lib/sendmail, sometime /usr/sbin/sendmail. The sendmail manual page will help you out. Here's some sample code:

SENDMAIL = "/usr/sbin/sendmail" # sendmail location
import os
p = os.popen("%s -t -i" % SENDMAIL, "w")
p.write("Subject: test\n")
p.write("\n") # blank line separating headers from body
p.write("Some text\n")
p.write("some more text\n")
sts = p.close()
if sts != 0:
print "Sendmail exit status", sts


Question 2 :

How do I avoid blocking in the connect() method of a socket?

Answer :

The select module is commonly used to help with asynchronous I/O on sockets.

Question 3 :

Are there any interfaces to database packages in Python? 

Answer :


Python 2.3 includes the bsddb package which provides an interface to the BerkeleyDB library. Interfaces to disk-based hashes such as DBM and GDBM are also included with standard Python.

Question 4 :

How do I generate random numbers in Python?

Answer :

The standard module random implements a random number generator. Usage is simple:

import random

This returns a random floating point number in the range [0, 1).

Question 5 :

Can I create my own functions in C? 

Answer :

Yes, you can create built-in modules containing functions, variables, exceptions and even new types in C.

Question 6 :

Can I create my own functions in C++? 

Answer :

Yes, using the C compatibility features found in C++. Place extern "C" { ... } around the Python include files and put extern "C" before each function that is going to be called by the Python interpreter. Global or static C++ objects with constructors are probably not a good idea.

Question 7 :

How can I execute arbitrary Python statements from C?

Answer :

The highest-level function to do this is PyRun_SimpleString() which takes a single string argument to be executed in the context of the module __main__ and returns 0 for success and -1 when an exception occurred (including SyntaxError). If you want more control, use PyRun_String(); see the source for PyRun_SimpleString() in Python/pythonrun.c.

Question 8 :

How can I evaluate an arbitrary Python expression from C? 

Answer :

Call the function PyRun_String() from the previous question with the start symbol Py_eval_input; it parses an expression, evaluates it and returns its value.

Question 9 :

How do I extract C values from a Python object?

Answer :

That depends on the object's type. If it's a tuple, PyTupleSize(o) returns its length and PyTuple_GetItem(o, i) returns its i'th item. Lists have similar functions, PyListSize(o) and PyList_GetItem(o, i). 
For strings, PyString_Size(o) returns its length and PyString_AsString(o) a pointer to its value. Note that Python strings may contain null bytes so C's strlen() should not be used. 
To test the type of an object, first make sure it isn't NULL, and then use PyString_Check(o), PyTuple_Check(o), PyList_Check(o), etc. 
There is also a high-level API to Python objects which is provided by the so-called 'abstract' interface -- read Include/abstract.h for further details. It allows interfacing with any kind of Python sequence using calls like PySequence_Length(), PySequence_GetItem(), etc.) as well as many other useful protocols.

Question 10 :

How do I call an object's method from C? 

Answer :

The PyObject_CallMethod() function can be used to call an arbitrary method of an object. The parameters are the object, the name of the method to call, a format string like that used with Py_BuildValue(), and the argument values:

PyObject *
PyObject_CallMethod(PyObject *object, char *method_name,
char *arg_format, ...);

This works for any object that has methods -- whether built-in or user-defined. You are responsible for eventually Py_DECREF'ing the return value.
To call, e.g., a file object's "seek" method with arguments 10, 0 (assuming the file object pointer is "f"):

res = PyObject_CallMethod(f, "seek", "(ii)", 10, 0);
if (res == NULL) {
	... an exception occurred ...
else {

Note that since PyObject_CallObject() always wants a tuple for the argument list, to call a function without arguments, pass "()" for the format, and to call a function with one argument, surround the argument in parentheses, e.g. "(i)".