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As I have been playing around with Python and Titanium a lot in the last few weeks, I tried to use some APIs which use cURL to retrieve data. It took me some time to figure out the cURL equivalent in Python – actually there is PycURL, but it needs to be installed separately. But Python already comes with an integrated solution called ‘urllib2’.

I give you a small example based on the Lighthouse API. Lighthouse is a simple ticket tracking solution.

#!/usr/bin/python

import urllib2

request = urllib2.Request(http://yourdomain.com/projects.xml)
request.add_header(X-LighthouseToken, YOUR_TOKEN)
response = urllib2.urlopen(request)
data = response.read()
print data

With that code you are able to fetch your projects from Lighthouse. Most of the code is pretty much self-explanatory. If you want to do it using an username and password instead of a token, you have to do it like that:

#!/usr/bin/python

import urllib2

# create a password manager
password_mgr = urllib2.HTTPPasswordMgrWithDefaultRealm()

# Add the username and password.
# If we knew the realm, we could use it instead of None.
URL = http://yourdomain.com/projects.xml  
password_mgr.add_password(None, URL, USERNAME, PASSWORD)

handler = urllib2.HTTPBasicAuthHandler(password_mgr)

# create "opener" (OpenerDirector instance)
opener = urllib2.build_opener(handler)

# use the opener to fetch a URL
opener.open(URL)

# Install the opener.
# Now all calls to urllib2.urlopen use our opener.
urllib2.install_opener(opener)

request = urllib2.Request(URL)
response = urllib2.urlopen(request)
data = response.read()
print data

What we do here, is to simply setup a password manager and a basic http authentication handler which uses this password manager. The password manager takes the target url, the username and the password as arguments. After that we create an opener which will be used on every urllib2.urlopen()-call, so every time we send a request. This opener takes the basic http auth handler as an argument. After that you just fire your request using urllib2.urlopen(). Et voilà, you are able to get your projects from Lighthouse.

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