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Never use print for debugging again

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PySnooper - Never use print for debugging again

PySnooper is a poor man's debugger.

You're trying to figure out why your Python code isn't doing what you think it should be doing. You'd love to use a full-fledged debugger with breakpoints and watches, but you can't be bothered to set one up right now.

You want to know which lines are running and which aren't, and what the values of the local variables are.

Most people would use

print
lines, in strategic locations, some of them showing the values of variables.

PySnooper lets you do the same, except instead of carefully crafting the right

print
lines, you just add one decorator line to the function you're interested in. You'll get a play-by-play log of your function, including which lines ran and when, and exactly when local variables were changed.

What makes PySnooper stand out from all other code intelligence tools? You can use it in your shitty, sprawling enterprise codebase without having to do any setup. Just slap the decorator on, as shown below, and redirect the output to a dedicated log file by specifying its path as the first argument.

Example

We're writing a function that converts a number to binary, by returning a list of bits. Let's snoop on it by adding the

@pysnooper.snoop()
decorator:
import pysnooper

@pysnooper.snoop() def number_to_bits(number): if number: bits = [] while number: number, remainder = divmod(number, 2) bits.insert(0, remainder) return bits else: return [0]

number_to_bits(6)

The output to stderr is:

Source path:... /my_code/foo.py
Starting var:.. number = 6
15:29:11.327032 call         4 def number_to_bits(number):
15:29:11.327032 line         5     if number:
15:29:11.327032 line         6         bits = []
New var:....... bits = []
15:29:11.327032 line         7         while number:
15:29:11.327032 line         8             number, remainder = divmod(number, 2)
New var:....... remainder = 0
Modified var:.. number = 3
15:29:11.327032 line         9             bits.insert(0, remainder)
Modified var:.. bits = [0]
15:29:11.327032 line         7         while number:
15:29:11.327032 line         8             number, remainder = divmod(number, 2)
Modified var:.. number = 1
Modified var:.. remainder = 1
15:29:11.327032 line         9             bits.insert(0, remainder)
Modified var:.. bits = [1, 0]
15:29:11.327032 line         7         while number:
15:29:11.327032 line         8             number, remainder = divmod(number, 2)
Modified var:.. number = 0
15:29:11.327032 line         9             bits.insert(0, remainder)
Modified var:.. bits = [1, 1, 0]
15:29:11.327032 line         7         while number:
15:29:11.327032 line        10         return bits
15:29:11.327032 return      10         return bits
Return value:.. [1, 1, 0]
Elapsed time: 00:00:00.000001

Or if you don't want to trace an entire function, you can wrap the relevant part in a

with
block:
import pysnooper
import random

def foo(): lst = [] for i in range(10): lst.append(random.randrange(1, 1000))

with pysnooper.snoop():
    lower = min(lst)
    upper = max(lst)
    mid = (lower + upper) / 2
    print(lower, mid, upper)

foo()

which outputs something like:

New var:....... i = 9
New var:....... lst = [681, 267, 74, 832, 284, 678, ...]
09:37:35.881721 line        10         lower = min(lst)
New var:....... lower = 74
09:37:35.882137 line        11         upper = max(lst)
New var:....... upper = 832
09:37:35.882304 line        12         mid = (lower + upper) / 2
74 453.0 832
New var:....... mid = 453.0
09:37:35.882486 line        13         print(lower, mid, upper)
Elapsed time: 00:00:00.000344

Features

If stderr is not easily accessible for you, you can redirect the output to a file:

@pysnooper.snoop('/my/log/file.log')

You can also pass a stream or a callable instead, and they'll be used.

See values of some expressions that aren't local variables:

@pysnooper.snoop(watch=('foo.bar', 'self.x["whatever"]'))

Show snoop lines for functions that your function calls:

@pysnooper.snoop(depth=2)

See Advanced Usage for more options. <------

Installation with Pip

The best way to install PySnooper is with Pip:

$ pip install pysnooper

Other installation options

Conda with conda-forge channel:

$ conda install -c conda-forge pysnooper

Arch Linux:

$ yay -S python-pysnooper

License

Copyright (c) 2019 Ram Rachum and collaborators, released under the MIT license.

I provide Development services in Python and Django and I give Python workshops to teach people Python and related topics.

Media Coverage

Hacker News thread and /r/Python Reddit thread (22 April 2019)

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