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The ``commondata`` namespace package
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The commondata package

This package is the heart of "common data", a sustainable way of maintaining and sharing structured common knowledge. The Python package itself contains just some utilities and defines the commondata namespace. It is the base for packages like

Note: we are discussing whether this package is meaningful. See


Maintained in Python

The Python programming language brings together two qualities

  • a syntax which makes it easy (or at least possible) to be used by non-programmers
  • a powerful programming language working behind the scenes

Freely available under the GPL

Free software should not depend on non-free material.

Designed to be imported

The library does not provide much querying functionality. Just the basic minimum, used to write test cases. This is a design choice. This data is meant to be imported into existing systems which offer their own querying facilities.


  • The easiest way is to type:

    pip install
  • Alternatively you might prefer to use the development version:

    $ git clone
    $ git clone
    $ git clone
    $ pip install -e commondata
    $ pip install -e
    $ pip install -e

Online version of this document on


How to use the Place and PlaceGenerator classes.

You define a subclass of Place for each "type" of place:

>>> from commondata.utils import Place, PlaceGenerator
>>> class PlaceInFoo(Place):
...     def __str__(self):
...        return
>>> class Kingdom(PlaceInFoo):
...     value = 1
>>> class County(PlaceInFoo):
...     value = 2
>>> class Borough(PlaceInFoo):
...     value = 3
>>> class Village(PlaceInFoo):
...     value = 3

The PlaceGenerator is used to instantiate to populate

Part 1 : configuration:

>>> pg = PlaceGenerator()
>>> pg.install(Kingdom, County, Borough, Village)
>>> pg.set_args('name')

Part 2 : filling data

>>> root = pg.kingdom("Kwargia")
>>> def fill(pg):
...    pg.county("Kwargia")
...    pg.borough("Kwargia")
...    pg.village("Virts")
...    pg.village("Vinks")
...    pg.county("Gorgia")
...    pg.village("Girts")
...    pg.village("Ginks")
>>> fill(pg)

Part 3 : using the data

>>> [str(x) for x in root.children]
['Kwargia', 'Gorgia']
>>> kwargia = root.children[0]
>>> [str(x) for x in kwargia.children]
['Kwargia', 'Virts', 'Vinks']

Multilingual place names

You use the commondata.utils.PlaceGenerator.set_args() method to specify the names of the fields of subsequent places.

>>> pg = PlaceGenerator()
>>> pg.install(Kingdom, County, Borough, Village)
>>> pg.set_args('name name_ar')
>>> root = pg.kingdom("Egypt", u'مصر')
>>> print(root.name_ar)
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