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dynamically generating temporary files through python/cgi

Is there a way to dynamically generate temporary files (such as an
html, xml or text file) in Python?

I'm not sure if I'm explaining myself clearly as I've no clue how to
describe this mechanism. I've seen it on certain websites that will
generate a file under certain parameters (through forms) that will
dissapear (i.e. delete itself) after a specified amount of time. These
files usually have some phony string for their filenames...like it's
been md5 hashed or something.

Is there a group of library functions that allow this? I imagine that
if i manually go and allocate a bunch of timers to monitor files, it
would be really expensive in load. Or perhaps is this a client-side
mechanism?

Thanks,
- poisondart

Jul 19 '05 #1
6 1987
poisondart wrote:
I've seen it on certain websites that will
generate a file under certain parameters (through forms) that will
dissapear (i.e. delete itself) after a specified amount of time...

Is there a group of library functions that allow this?


No.

The easiest way, in my mind would be to store the files in a directory
according to the hour they were requested, for example, a file generated
between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. today:

http://www.example.com/temp/20050428...8ecf8427e.html

Then you can have a cron job that runs every hour that deletes
everything in the temp directory generated 24 hours ago.
--
Michael Hoffman
Jul 19 '05 #2
Michael Hoffman wrote:
The easiest way, in my mind would be to store the files in a directory
according to the hour they were requested, for example, a file generated
between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. today:

http://www.example.com/temp/20050428...8ecf8427e.html


Depending on the filesystem you use, generating thousands of files in a
single directory might be somewhat inefficient. So you might want to
make subdirectories based on the MD5 digest instead, like this:

http://www.example.com/temp/20050428...8ecf8427e.html

--
Michael Hoffman
Jul 19 '05 #3
import tempfile
works under windows and linux

Jul 19 '05 #4
poisondart wrote:
Is there a way to dynamically generate temporary files (such as an
html, xml or text file) in Python?

I'm not sure if I'm explaining myself clearly as I've no clue how to
describe this mechanism. I've seen it on certain websites that will
generate a file under certain parameters (through forms) that will
dissapear (i.e. delete itself) after a specified amount of time. These
files usually have some phony string for their filenames...like it's
been md5 hashed or something.

Is there a group of library functions that allow this? I imagine that
if i manually go and allocate a bunch of timers to monitor files, it
would be really expensive in load. Or perhaps is this a client-side
mechanism?

Thanks,
- poisondart

hi there

first of you could use the tempfile

import tempfile

tempfile.mktemp('.thefileendingudlike')

i never really studied the cgi capability of python but for example in
php there is the posibility to serve a request with a mime formated
response such as html, gif, pdf, and so on. so if u want to generate
content dynamically u wouldn't need to store those files but generate
and send em on request without having to destroy them later on..

hope this is helpful

cheers

tc
Jul 19 '05 #5
poisondart wrote:
Is there a way to dynamically generate temporary files (such as an
html, xml or text file) in Python?

I'm not sure if I'm explaining myself clearly as I've no clue how to
describe this mechanism. I've seen it on certain websites that will
generate a file under certain parameters (through forms) that will
dissapear (i.e. delete itself) after a specified amount of time. These
files usually have some phony string for their filenames...like it's
been md5 hashed or something.

Is there a group of library functions that allow this? I imagine that
if i manually go and allocate a bunch of timers to monitor files, it
would be really expensive in load. Or perhaps is this a client-side
mechanism?

Thanks,
- poisondart

Typically such functionality would be provided by having the server
periodically run a task to delete files from the temporary directory
whose age exceeds a given value.

regards
Steve
--
Steve Holden +1 703 861 4237 +1 800 494 3119
Holden Web LLC http://www.holdenweb.com/
Python Web Programming http://pydish.holdenweb.com/

Jul 19 '05 #6
On 27 Apr 2005 23:32:15 -0700, poisondart <po***********@gmail.com> wrote:
Is there a way to dynamically generate temporary files (such as an
html, xml or text file) in Python?

I'm not sure if I'm explaining myself clearly as I've no clue how to
describe this mechanism. I've seen it on certain websites that will
generate a file under certain parameters (through forms) that will
dissapear (i.e. delete itself) after a specified amount of time. These
files usually have some phony string for their filenames...like it's
been md5 hashed or something.

Is there a group of library functions that allow this? I imagine that
if i manually go and allocate a bunch of timers to monitor files, it
would be really expensive in load. Or perhaps is this a client-side
mechanism?


I think the best way to do that is have a web page that generates the
files with random filenames. These files probably ought to reside in
their own special directory. This web page gives the user a link to
the filename.

Next, have a cron job kick off every 5 minutes or so that deletes any
files that are older than 'X' minutes. This seems to be the simplest
approach.

jw
Jul 19 '05 #7

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