Calling a function of a module by using its name (a string)

What is the best way to go about calling a function given a string with the function’s name in a Python program. For example, let’s say that I have a module foo, and I have a string whose content is "bar". What is the best way to call foo.bar()?

I need to get the return value of the function, which is why I don’t just use eval. I figured out how to do it by using eval to define a temp function that returns the result of that function call, but I’m hoping that there is a more elegant way to do this.

Answer

Assuming module foo with method bar:

import foo
method_to_call = getattr(foo, 'bar')
result = method_to_call()

You could shorten lines 2 and 3 to:

result = getattr(foo, 'bar')()

if that makes more sense for your use case.

You can use getattr in this fashion on class instance bound methods, module-level methods, class methods… the list goes on.