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A while back when still fairly new to Python, this simple program was developed to back directories of information. In reality, it is just a simple (and poorly written) file copier that could be greatly improved. This is committed for archival to be run under Python 2.5 or later versions.

Python, 36 lines
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import os
import sys

def main():
    try:
        source, destination = sys.argv[1:]
        assert os.path.isdir(source), '<source_directory> is not a directory'
        if os.path.exists(destination):
            assert os.path.isdir(destination), \
                   '<destination_directory> is not a directory'
        else:
            os.makedirs(destination)
        copy(source, destination)
    except Exception, error:
        program = 'USAGE:  %s <source_directory> <destination_directory>' % \
                  os.path.basename(sys.argv[0])
        problem = 'ERROR:  %s' % error
        divider = '=' * max(len(program), len(problem))
        sys.stdout.write('\n%s\n%s\n%s\n' % (program, divider, problem))

def copy(source, destination):
    for name in os.listdir(source):
        source_name = os.path.join(source, name)
        destination_name = os.path.join(destination, name)
        try:
            if os.path.isdir(source_name):
                os.mkdir(destination_name)
                copy(source_name, destination_name)
            elif os.path.isfile(source_name):
                file(destination_name, 'wb').write(
                    file(source_name, 'rb').read())
        except:
            sys.stderr.write('\n%s\n%s\n' % (source_name, destination_name))

if __name__ == '__main__':
    main()

5 comments

Dan Zemke 9 years, 5 months ago  # | flag

I don't understand the purpose of posting a recipe that is "poorly written". And I also don't understand what "committed for archival" is meant to convey. To this newbie, it appears that the practical impact is just more litter for the commons.

Please. What is your intent in posting a recipe like this?

Stephen Chappell (author) 9 years, 4 months ago  # | flag

Good question! I have several reasons of debatable quality:

  1. Generates comments and responses that are rather lacking here.
  2. Shows people that are new to Python what not to write by example.
  3. Frees my own archives that are being cleared out ever so slowly.
  4. Demonstrates it is good to analyze one's own work objectively.
  5. Provides a starting point for people not knowing where to begin.
Martin Miller 9 years, 3 months ago  # | flag

@Stephan, I agree with Dan. To get the feedback you seem to want as well as show newbies what to (or not to) do, I suggest you post things like this on stackoverflow.com instead.

Stephen Chappell (author) 8 years, 12 months ago  # | flag

Thank you! I already have an account there ( http://stackoverflow.com/users/216356/noctis-skytower ) and have been an active member for quite a while already. Plenty of experience for getting feedback from stackoverflow.com has already been acquired. This recipe is not for me to get feedback but to act as a beginner's demonstration to others.

Martin Miller 8 years, 2 months ago  # | flag

Sigh...the world doesn't need another source of examples of poorly written code -- nor do beginners.