Call Python function from JavaScript code


Question

I'd like to call a Python function from JavaScript code, because there isn't an alternative in JavaScript for doing what I want. Is this possible? Could you adjust the below snippet to work?

JavaScript code:

var tag = document.getElementsByTagName("p")[0];
text = tag.innerHTML;
// Here I would like to call the Python interpreter with Python function
arrOfStrings = openSomehowPythonInterpreter("~/pythoncode.py", "processParagraph(text)");

~/pythoncode.py contains functions using advanced libraries that don't have an easy to write equivalent in JavaScript:

import nltk # is not in JavaScript
def processParagraph(text):
  ...
  nltk calls
  ...
  return lst # returns a list of strings (will be converted to JavaScript array)
1
68
5/31/2019 2:52:13 AM

Accepted Answer

All you need is to make an ajax request to your pythoncode. You can do this with jquery http://api.jquery.com/jQuery.ajax/, or use just javascript

$.ajax({
  type: "POST",
  url: "~/pythoncode.py",
  data: { param: text}
}).done(function( o ) {
   // do something
});
45
11/1/2012 11:01:48 AM

From the document.getElementsByTagName I guess you are running the javascript in a browser.

The traditional way to expose functionality to javascript running in the browser is calling a remote URL using AJAX. The X in AJAX is for XML, but nowadays everybody uses JSON instead of XML.

For example, using jQuery you can do something like:

$.getJSON('http://example.com/your/webservice?param1=x&param2=y', 
    function(data, textStatus, jqXHR) {
        alert(data);
    }
)

You will need to implement a python webservice on the server side. For simple webservices I like to use Flask.

A typical implementation looks like:

@app.route("/your/webservice")
def my_webservice():
    return jsonify(result=some_function(**request.args)) 

You can run IronPython (kind of Python.Net) in the browser with silverlight, but I don't know if NLTK is available for IronPython.


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