a small subset of Python Requests

a few years ago, when I was first learning Python and looking for http functionality, i found the batteries-included urllib — part of the Python std lib https://docs.python.org/3/library/urllib.request.html and it said

The Requests package is recommended for a higher-level HTTP client interface.

so i decided to try requests instead.

the requests page links to a gist that makes urllib seem very complicated (and requests so much easier)

import urllib2

gh_url = 'https://api.github.com'

req = urllib2.Request(gh_url)

password_manager = urllib2.HTTPPasswordMgrWithDefaultRealm()
password_manager.add_password(None, gh_url, 'user', 'pass')

auth_manager = urllib2.HTTPBasicAuthHandler(password_manager)
opener = urllib2.build_opener(auth_manager)


handler = urllib2.urlopen(req)

so i learned requests, forgot about urllib, and that was the end of that. or was it?

a few days ago, i was reading about pprint and there was an example using urllib (slightly edited)

with urlopen('https://pypi.org/pypi/sampleproject/json') as res:
    project = json.load(res)

and i thought: “hey, that doesn’t look too hard” and wondered if i should give urllib a second look. so i did.

i wrote a mini requests lib called r using urllib. it handles json, gzip and link headers. it does almost everything i need except for connection-pooling keep-alive (which is not supported by urllib [1]) and some url stuff (coming soon™).

r.py source

and here’s a small test/demo suite

the bulk of r is about 15 LOC. by contrast requests is 4,000 LOC, and it uses urllib3 (which is different than urllib) and other libraries as well (http://line-count.herokuapp.com/)

am i saying 15 LOC does everything that 4,000 LOC does? of course not!

spending a few hours learning urllib and other libraries, and writing r helped me understand and appreciate requests.

[1] but is supported by urllib3, see and test/demo suite, connection pooling makes it run much faster than without


View Github