I recently discovered the convenience of managing configuration of hobby-grade software projects with Google Sheets.
My project was an hourly cron job requiring a frequently-edited blacklist of English words. Some options were to:
(1) was pretty simple and (2) was the no-brainer for sensitive config variables like API keys. But because the blacklist would be edited frequently and was not sensitive, I turned to a third option: manage the blacklist in a Google Sheet and use the CSV publishing feature to propagate changes to the application.
It was easy to publish a Google Sheet to CSV: File > Publish to the web > Comma-separated values > Publish. Then, the Python application read the CSV with a few lines of code:
import csv import urllib2 # URL for published Google Sheet csv_url = "https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/..." csv_contents = urllib2.urlopen(csv_url).read() reader = csv.reader(csv_contents.splitlines(), delimiter=',') blacklist = [row for row in reader]
Because the project was an hourly cron job, refetching config on every code run was acceptable. If the project needed the config for a user HTTP request, it wouldn’t have been much work to add a thin caching layer that refetched periodically.
This is all pretty hacky, so I don’t recommend doing this for mission-critical applications. But for hobby-grade software projects needing frequent config updates, Google Sheets does the trick.