You’ve probably of the heard about this concept a million times before, but it bears repeating:
Although certain formats of this indentation style might technically be allowed in PEP8, I personally do not enjoy looking at heavily indented function arguments. You are forced to move your eyes all the way over to the right, some IDEs don’t play nice with this indentation, and using this style inhibits future extensibility.
In this example, let’s assume we have the class above containing a large number of functions. Some of these functions serve a special purpose and should be dynamically accessible. We want any special function that we add to this class to be immediately picked up by the rest of our code so that it begins working right away. One way to accomplish this is simply by using dir on the containing class.
This is sloppy and hides intent if you ever reference it more than once. Referencing person all over the place in your code will make it difficult to interpret what value that should be. There is a very simple fix for this that does not hide your intent and makes your code more readable. Simply assign this to a variable and, if possible, destructure the entire list into appropriately named variables as well. Let’s look at an example of putting this into practice:The coronavirus pandemic has transformed us from a nation that shunned discussions of death to one that receives daily mortality reports. In the face of unimaginable loss — of friends, family, jobs, and freedom — many have adopted a “hospice mentality,” a state of mind where our best days are behind us and the future is bleak.In your project folder, create a file called .env (a file where we can store environment variables). In this file on the first line, you’re going to want to type REACT_APP_API_KEY= and then paste your API key. No quotes, no ;As covered earlier, APIs are a great tool to understand and implement. This article has set out to provide an overview of what APIs are, examples of popular APIs, and a brief tutorial on how to make requests. I hope that this article has been helpful, thanks for reading!Secondly, API owners sometimes enforce a limit on the number of requests that can be made to the API in a given time-frame in order to prevent users from overwhelming the service. This is called a ‘rate-limit’, and it varies from API to API.
We have moved from a time when colleges were a community’s lifeblood — providing jobs, culture, and diversity of thought and experience — to a time when many college campuses have become Covid hotspots, bringing rising infection rates and fear to the communities they once enriched.
When I started my presidency at Champlain College in Burlington, VT on July 1, our students had been sent home and the pandemic ravaged the country. Leading a college through a pandemic during a time of economic upheaval, social unrest, racial injustice, a divisive political landscape, and a climate crisis, has been the greatest test of my professional career. Yet I believe the true test of a leader is finding ways to pivot in an uncertain world and meet challenges with innovation and creativity.
This is also the case in higher education, where even choosing a college has become a matter of life and death. We have moved from a time when colleges were a community’s lifeblood — providing jobs, culture, and diversity of thought and experience — to a time when many college campuses have become Covid hotspots, bringing rising infection rates and fear to the communities they once enriched.
When accessing an API, the place that your request is sent to (and where the response is received) is called an ‘endpoint’. API endpoints come in the form of URLs and, depending on what kind of request you are trying to make or what data you want back, the API documentation should point you to the endpoint that you are looking for.
The most important thing to consider when writing and debugging your API requests (“Why is this not working?” “I know it’s there, why is it undefined?”) is what the response you are expecting looks like. The best places to find this out are the API documentation or good old console.log the response and take a look yourself. As you will see in the following code examples, no two APIs are exactly the same and so the way you access the data from their respective responses will be different too. These little nuances will be the root of lots of your API problems and debugging but now you know where to look, you should be able to find out how to access that data and use it in your applications.
There are a few nuances to explore when it comes to approaching APIs for the first time. When APIs are created, they can be secured using forms of authentication and unique codes that identify who is calling the API. These are put in place so that the owners of the API can keep track of who is using and/or consuming from the API, thereby preventing malicious use and abuse. The API that you plan to use will determine what you will need to do in order to get access. Most APIs will require you to register for an API key and use this as an identifier for every call that you make to the API. Note: see below for a brief on API keys.Now if you need to reference the name later, you will be doing so via a named variable vs. an index value. This works well for response data that you’ll likely know the structure of. As long as the person’s information is always in the same order, you can destructure and assign everything over and over again to avoid using index values.As covered earlier, APIs are a great tool to understand and implement. This article has set out to provide an overview of what APIs are, examples of popular APIs, and a brief tutorial on how to make requests. I hope that this article has been helpful, thanks for reading!
There are a bunch of APIs out there (I listed my favorites here, and there is a great list of free public APIs here). While there is no end to the streams of ideas and projects that could stem from utilizing these APIs, if you want to start getting into the wonders of consuming data from APIs then you should read on to learn how to use them.
This is a great tutorial blog post on using environment variables in Python.
Then when you want to use this environment variable in your code, refer to it using process.env.REACT_APP_API_KEY instead of a string containing your API key. Don’t forget to also add your .env file to your .gitignore.You might be thinking, Elle, this is quite a lot of information I need to gather before I access an API. Where am I supposed to find it all? Well, I would advise you to get familiar with the API’s documentation. In the documentation of any API, the developers should detail how to get an API key, what the rate limit is (if there is one), and information on the API’s endpoints.Using the ** operator on the dict as you’re passing a dict to the function allows you to unpack all of the arguments successfully (instead of accidentally passing the dict object itself). Although this method does add another variable and a separate data structure, it improves overall readability when there are a larger number of arguments. Moving the function call around or referencing multiple calls to the same function with the same (or slightly tweaked) arguments now becomes infinitely easier and requires less overall modification.
If you pass a class to dir, it will list all of the attributes for that object. This includes the names of its functions. By filtering for a prefix, suffix, or included keyword in the string name, we can group the functions of this class into different categories. This allows us to “pick up” new functions whose names include a keyword and either call them all or perform other logic with them later on in the code.
If you’re using an API that requires an API key, please keep that key a secret. If you’re not planning on uploading your code or hosting your project publicly, you should be fine, but if you are going to upload it to GitHub or host it live then take these steps to keep your API key secret.
In the example below, we have some data about a person on a list. This data includes basic information like the person’s name, age, and profession. Let’s assume for the sake of this example that this is part of a response we received back from a web request and that we’d have to parse multiple responses just like this. If we wanted to get the person’s name, we could simply access it by the index value:
Using the ** operator on the dict as you’re passing a dict to the function allows you to unpack all of the arguments successfully (instead of accidentally passing the dict object itself). Although this method does add another variable and a separate data structure, it improves overall readability when there are a larger number of arguments. Moving the function call around or referencing multiple calls to the same function with the same (or slightly tweaked) arguments now becomes infinitely easier and requires less overall modification.