String-based Debugging

Debugging is really important. Telegram’s API is really big and there is a lot of things that you should know. Such as, what attributes or fields does a result have? Well, the easiest thing to do is printing it:

entity = await client.get_entity('username')
print(entity)

That will show a huge string similar to the following:

Channel(id=1066197625, title='Telegram Usernames', photo=ChatPhotoEmpty(), date=datetime.datetime(2016, 12, 16, 15, 15, 43, tzinfo=datetime.timezone.utc), version=0, creator=False, left=True, broadcast=True, verified=True, megagroup=False, restricted=False, signatures=False, min=False, scam=False, has_link=False, has_geo=False, slowmode_enabled=False, access_hash=-6309373984955162244, username='username', restriction_reason=[], admin_rights=None, banned_rights=None, default_banned_rights=None, participants_count=None)

That’s a lot of text. But as you can see, all the properties are there. So if you want the title you don’t use regex or anything like splitting str(entity) to get what you want. You just access the attribute you need:

title = entity.title

Can we get better than the shown string, though? Yes!

print(entity.stringify())

Will show a much better:

Channel(
    id=1066197625,
    title='Telegram Usernames',
    photo=ChatPhotoEmpty(
    ),
    date=datetime.datetime(2016, 12, 16, 15, 15, 43, tzinfo=datetime.timezone.utc),
    version=0,
    creator=False,
    left=True,
    broadcast=True,
    verified=True,
    megagroup=False,
    restricted=False,
    signatures=False,
    min=False,
    scam=False,
    has_link=False,
    has_geo=False,
    slowmode_enabled=False,
    access_hash=-6309373984955162244,
    username='username',
    restriction_reason=[
    ],
    admin_rights=None,
    banned_rights=None,
    default_banned_rights=None,
    participants_count=None
)

Now it’s easy to see how we could get, for example, the year value. It’s inside date:

channel_year = entity.date.year

You don’t need to print everything to see what all the possible values can be. You can just search in http://tl.telethon.dev/.

Remember that you can use Python’s isinstance to check the type of something. For example:

from telethon import types

if isinstance(entity.photo, types.ChatPhotoEmpty):
    print('Channel has no photo')