1.9 Building Arbitrary Values

This function is the counterpart to PyArg_ParseTuple(). It is declared as follows:

PyObject *Py_BuildValue(char *format, ...);

It recognizes a set of format units similar to the ones recognized by PyArg_ParseTuple(), but the arguments (which are input to the function, not output) must not be pointers, just values. It returns a new Python object, suitable for returning from a C function called from Python.

One difference with PyArg_ParseTuple(): while the latter requires its first argument to be a tuple (since Python argument lists are always represented as tuples internally), Py_BuildValue() does not always build a tuple. It builds a tuple only if its format string contains two or more format units. If the format string is empty, it returns None; if it contains exactly one format unit, it returns whatever object is described by that format unit. To force it to return a tuple of size 0 or one, parenthesize the format string.

Examples (to the left the call, to the right the resulting Python value):

    Py_BuildValue("")                        None
    Py_BuildValue("i", 123)                  123
    Py_BuildValue("iii", 123, 456, 789)      (123, 456, 789)
    Py_BuildValue("s", "hello")              'hello'
    Py_BuildValue("ss", "hello", "world")    ('hello', 'world')
    Py_BuildValue("s#", "hello", 4)          'hell'
    Py_BuildValue("()")                      ()
    Py_BuildValue("(i)", 123)                (123,)
    Py_BuildValue("(ii)", 123, 456)          (123, 456)
    Py_BuildValue("(i,i)", 123, 456)         (123, 456)
    Py_BuildValue("[i,i]", 123, 456)         [123, 456]
                  "abc", 123, "def", 456)    {'abc': 123, 'def': 456}
    Py_BuildValue("((ii)(ii)) (ii)",
                  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)          (((1, 2), (3, 4)), (5, 6))

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