Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Personal tools
Log in
You are here: Home Software phyles

phyles home

Phyles is a python package for validating YAML config files with YAML-based schema and other general functions to simplify writing python utilities.



Phyles is a set of somewhat eclectic functions that makes the implementation of utilities (little programs that can be controlled by config files) easier. It started as a mass of boilerplate that I would copy into almost every utility I wrote. I finally decided to consolidate this code into a package and add some schema-based validation of config files and to document it fully.

Phyles provides support for YAML-based config files as well as a means for validating the config files. Phyles also provides several facilities for making utilities more user friendly, including automatically generated banners, automatically documented configuration templates, and graceful recovery from configuration errors.

Installation & Download

Phyles is most easily installed with easy_install or pip:

easy_install phyles
pip install phyles

The full source and documentation can be downloaded from the phyles PyPI page.

The source repository where bugs can be reported and features requested is hosted by github at

Online Documentation

Browse the documentation online at

Home Page & Repository

The phyles home page is, and the source code is maintained at github:


About 90% of the convenience that phyles offers can be summarized by a few lines of code. From the example utility in the tutorial (

1|  spec = phyles.package_spec(phyles.Undefined, "barbecue",
 |                             "schema", "barbecue-time.yml")
2|  converters = {'celsius to farenheit':
 |                barbecue.celsius_to_farenheit}
3|  setup = phyles.set_up(__program__, __version__,
 |                                    spec, converters)
4|  phyles.run_main(main, setup['config'],
 |                   catchall=barbecue.BarbecueError)

These few lines find a schema specification from the package contents (line 1), parses command line arguments (line 3), validates a config file (lines 2 & 3), overrides configuration settings therein (line 3), and runs the main function of the utility in a try-except block that ensures graceful exit in the event that an anticipated exception is raised (line 4).

Schema are specified in YAML, terse, and hopefully intuitive. Following is the example from the tutorial:

- dish :
   - - vegetable kabobs
     - smoked salmon
     - brisket
   - smoked salmon
   - Dish to cook
- doneness :
   - rare : 200
     medium : 350
     well-done : 500
   - medium
   - How much to cook the dish
- temperature :
   - celsius to farenheit
   - 105
   - Cooking temperature in °C
   - 105
- width :
   - int
   - 70
   - width of report
   - 70

Phyles will automatically generate a documented sample config files for users if they run the utility with the --template (or -t) command line option.

As one final example, a valid config file for this schema is:

dish : smoked salmon
doneness : medium
temperature : 107
width : 70