Calling a function of a module by using its name (a string)


Question

What is the best way to go about calling a function given a string with the function's name in a Python program. For example, let's say that I have a module foo, and I have a string whose content is "bar". What is the best way to call foo.bar()?

I need to get the return value of the function, which is why I don't just use eval. I figured out how to do it by using eval to define a temp function that returns the result of that function call, but I'm hoping that there is a more elegant way to do this.

1
1488
1/23/2019 3:03:25 PM

Accepted Answer

Assuming module foo with method bar:

import foo
method_to_call = getattr(foo, 'bar')
result = method_to_call()

As far as that goes, lines 2 and 3 can be compressed to:

result = getattr(foo, 'bar')()

if that makes more sense for your use case. You can use getattr in this fashion on class instance bound methods, module-level methods, class methods... the list goes on.

1794
2/22/2017 6:10:17 PM

locals()["myfunction"]()

or

globals()["myfunction"]()

locals returns a dictionary with a current local symbol table. globals returns a dictionary with global symbol table.


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