Make a request to REST API using Python

This post introduces how to make a request to REST API using Python.

requests package is the commonly used one (its GitHub repo).

You can try out requests online here at codecademy, and here at

Look at this post for a great tutorial using Requests with Python to make a request to REST API: Python API tutorial – An Introduction to using APIs (pdf) – a very good, comprehensive, and detailed tutorial.

To install Requests, simply:

$ pip install requests

See below for a simple example to make a request to REST API.

#Python 2.7

import requests
from requests.auth import HTTPDigestAuth
import json

# Replace with the correct URL
url = "http://api_url"

# It is a good practice not to hardcode the credentials. So ask the user to enter credentials at runtime
myResponse = requests.get(url,auth=HTTPDigestAuth(raw_input("username: "), raw_input("Password: ")), verify=True)
#print (myResponse.status_code)

# For successful API call, response code will be 200 (OK)

    # Loading the response data into a dictionary variable
    # json.loads takes in only binary or string variables so using content to fetch binary content
    # Loads (Load String) takes a Json file and converts into python data structure (dictionary or list, depending on JSON)
    jData = json.loads(myResponse.content)
    #jData = json.loads(myResponse2.content, 'utf-8') #use this line if your data contains special characters

    print("The response contains {0} properties".format(len(jData)))
    for key in jData:
        print key + " : " + jData[key]
  # If response code is not ok (200), print the resulting http error code with description


======working with JSON data

For example, if data.json file looks like this:


The python code should be something looks like this:

import json

with open('data.json') as data_file:    
    data = json.load(data_file)

We can now  access single values in the json file — see below for some examples to get a sense of it:

data["maps"][0]["id"]  # will return 'blabla'
data["masks"]["id"]    # will return 'mask-value'
data["om_points"]      # will return 'value'


Parallel Programming using MPI in Python

This post introduces Parallel Programming using MPI in Python.

The library is mpi4py (MPI and python extensions of MPI), see here for its code repo on bitbucket.

Laurent Duchesne provides an excellent step-by-step guide for parallelizing your Python code using multiple processors and MPI. Craig Finch has a more practical example for high throughput MPI on GitHub. See here for more mpi4py examples from Craig Finch.

An example of TensorFlow using MPI can be found here.



OpenJDK or Oracle JDK? What is the main difference?

This post introduces what is OpenJDK and Oracle JDK and what is the difference and which one should we use on Ubuntu.

Both OpenJDK and Oracle JDK are created and maintained currently by Oracle only.

OpenJDK is the default version of Java that Ubuntu uses and is the easiest to install while Oracle Java 7/8 is Oracle’s own version of Java 7/8.

It entirely depends on the target platform on which you want to run JDK. Technical differences are a consequence of the goal of each one (OpenJDK is meant to be the reference implementation, open to the community, while Oracle is meant to be a commercial one)

They both have “almost” the same code of the classes in the Java API; but the code for the virtual machine itself is actually different, and when it comes to libraries, OpenJDK tends to use open libraries while Oracle tends to use closed ones.

OpenJDK was reported to work better for large number of users with small request count, while it become worse for small number of user with prolonged. This is an undocumented behaviour, and never seen anywhere other than experienced on some J2EE containers.

My conclusion:
I choose to install Oracle JDK, since there were complaints about using OpenJDK would meet bugs sometimes. (See this post if you decide to install Oracle Java 8 with PPA on Ubuntu.)


Which Java package should I use: OpenJDK or Oracle JDK?

Performance OracleJDK or OpenJDK (pdf)

OpenJDK – Oracle is better? (pdf)

Is there any advantage of installing OpenJDK instead of Oracle Java Platform, Standard Edition on Ubuntu? (pdf)