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Tinyscript Internals

Proxy parser

This is a parser that collects calls to a common argparse.ArgumentParser so that, inside the tiny script/tool, a few lines of code can be spared by not redefining the argparse.ArgumentParser with its (long) parameters (e.g. the epilog).

Normal script :

if __name__ == '__main__':
    parser = argparse.ArgumentParser(prog=..., epilog=..., ...)
    args = parser.parse_args()

With Tinyscript :

from tinyscript import *
if __name__ == '__main__':
    initialize()  # also does many other things than just parsing !

Pre-defined help formatting

While sparing lines of code due to not redefining a complete argument parser, Tinyscript uses a pre-defined help formatting based on metadata, making very easy to build a well-formatted script/tool in only a few lines of code.

Here is an example of help output:

$ python -h
usage: tool [-h] [-v]

Tool v1.0
Author: John Doe (
Reference: ...
Source: ...
Training: ...

This tool ...

optional arguments:
  -h             show usage message and exit
  --help         show this help message and exit
  -v, --verbose  verbose mode (default: False)

Usage examples:
  python ...

Short/long help

The default behavior of help options is that "-h" only gives usage information while "--help" provides the full help message. This can be disabled using a parameter, see this section of the documentation.

Customizable initialization

This is achieved by passing arguments to initialize(...).

Various shaping and utility features are handled by this initialization and are explained in the related sections of this documentation.

Pre-configured colored logger

Tinyscript pre-configures a logger using the logging and coloredlogs modules, immediately accessible in the global scope when initialize has been executed. If required, the logging format can be redefined.

Normal script :

import logging

logger = logging.getLogger(...)

With Tinyscript :

from tinyscript import *  # from this point, a logger is already setup
LOG_FORMAT  = "..."  # new format can be defined
DATE_FORMAT = "..."  # new format can be defined
if __name__ == '__main__':
    initialize()  # the logger is then reconfigured with the new formats

Advanced option clash resolution

When a developer writes a script/tool relying on Tyniscript, every argument or option defined will precede the default arguments, e.g. -h or --help. Tinyscript will then add these after the developer-defined ones, then using argparse's conflict resolution first trying with full option strings (e.g. -v and --verbose), then with the long option string only (--verbose). If a name collision occurs, some of the pre-defined arguments use prefixes or suffixes to resolve it so that they can still be parsed. The following lists give the mappings between pre-defined default option names and their resolved names if a collision occurs.

List of "extra" arguments and options:

Option strings Description If strings clash
--demo start a demo of a random example --play-demo
-h, --help show the help message --show-help
--step stepping mode --step-mode
--version show program's version number __version__ --show-version
-v, --verbose verbose mode --verbose-mode
-w, --wizard start a wizard --start-wizard

List of "interaction" arguments and options:

Option strings Description If strings clash
--interact interaction mode --interact-mode
--host remote interacting host --remote-host
--port remote interacting host --remote-port

List of "timing" arguments and options:

Option strings Description If strings clash
--stats time statistics display (at end) --time-stats
--timings timing display mode --timings-mode

List of "report" arguments and options:

Option strings Description If strings clash
--output report output format --report-output
--title report title --report-title
--css report stylesheet file --report-css
--theme report stylesheet theme (overridden by --css) --report-theme
--filename report filename --report-filename


Some common built-in or popular modules are preimported. Some others are enhanced to provide additional features. This can be inspected using the __imports__ dunder.

$ python
>>> from tinyscript import *
>>> pprint(__imports__)
{'bad': [],
 'enhanced': ['code', 'codecs', 'hashlib', 'logging', 'virtualenv'],
 'optional': ['bs4', 'fs', 'numpy', 'pandas', 'requests'],
 'standard': ['argparse',

In a script/tool, all these modules are preimported within the global namespace using the line from tinyscript import *.

Modules can be loaded within a script/tool using the load(module, optional) function. If setting optional to False (the default) and the module does not exist, the name will be appended to the __imports__['bad'] list.

Modules can also be reloaded using reload (this of importlib for Python 3, and the native one in Python 2 as it does not exist in importlib for Python 2).

The modules in the __imports__['enhanced'] list are the native ones enhanced with additional features. These are enumerated in the enhancements section.

Virtual environment context

It is possible to manage a virtual environment from within the script using the virtualenv module or the VirtualEnv context manager. Each available function from the module can be accessed from a context manager instance.

with VirtualEnv("venv", "requirements.txt") as venv:
    for package, version in venv.list_packages():