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Python4Kids: New Tutorial - An Awful Pickle

Feb 07, 2011, 07:02 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Brendan Scott)


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[ Thanks to Brendan Scott for this link. ]

"So, we know how to save trivia questions to a file, and how to read them back from a file in the future. Moreover, we have decided on a particular way of structuring the data which makes a question. That is, the question is followed by the correct answer and then a number of incorrect answers. Now we have to translate between a list (which has a concept of elements), and a file (which doesn't). Files are "flat" – which is to say that they have no sense of structure, they are simply a stream of data. A file may record all of the characters which are the questions and answers, but it wouldn't record the fact that they are a list or, indeed, that they are any kind of Python object. I was originally just going to run with this to let you find out about files, but I have instead decided to introduce a further concept – the Python pickle!

"pickle is a module which allows you to store Python objects including their structure. That means after you have pickled an object to a file, you can later load that object back up from the file and all the structure associated with that object will be preserved."

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