Friday, October 31, 2014

Python Injection

Today's fun stupid code is written in Python.

I have found a few times recently where it was handy to either replace or inject code in specific C++ files, or even level files.  I have done this sort of thing in AWK in the past, but AWK is, well, awkward.

The basic pattern looks like this:

import tempfile

src = "yourfile.txt"

with tempfile.TemporaryFile("w+") as out:
 with open(src, "rU") as f:
  for line in f:
   if line.find('REPLACE ME') != -1:
    out.write('REPLACE WITH')
 #Beginning of temp file
 #Copy temp file over source
 with open(src, "w") as f:
  for line in out:

This just opens a temporary file, scans every line of the source file and writes it to the temporary file, with possible modifications.  Then it jumps back to the beginning of the temporary file and overwrites the source file with the temporary file.

It's probably a good idea to have whatever you're modifying backed up somewhere

It may be easier to just read the entire file into a list of strings and write that back out, but now you know how to use temporary files.  :)

What you do at the 'REPLACE ME' line is up to you - check for a specific sub-string, or exact line.  Similarly for the 'REPLACE WITH' line - replace the line with generated code, insert a new line of code and put the 'REPLACE ME' marker back in as a comment, etc.
I have one version of this that copies a component template .h and .cpp file, replaces 'XXXXX' in the new files with the new component name, and injects the component registration code into the game initialization function.  Creating a new component used to be a chore, now it's easy!

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