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Pyspark provides a great wrapper for DataFrame access but does come with a few little quirks. One that you may run into is trying to pass options to a DataFrame which include punctuation in their key names.

This may be obvious to a lot of folks, but Python doesn’t let you use special characters in variable names. Chief among these is “.”. This presents a problem when using the Python version of DataFrameReader.options. Why is this? Let’s take a look at the definition

PyDoc Link

def options(**options):

Unlike Scala and Java which take a Map[String, String] python takes **options. If you aren’t familiar, the **options means that this particular function takes **kwargs parameters. **kwargs means that the function takes variable number of arguments in the form of keyword = value. You would invoke such a function like = value, keyword2 = value2)

This means that your keywords must obey standard Python variable/function naming policy which means something like = "52")
#SyntaxError: keyword can't be an expression

Will throw an error.

To get around this you can use the ** operator/un-packer to treat a python dictionary as **kwargs and pass through the otherwise illegal keys.

option_dict = { "spark.cassandra.connector.input.split_size_in_mb" : "52"}**option_dict)

This solves the problem and lets us use all of the Spark Cassandra Connector parameters just like were we using Scala or Java.

I’ve added a note about this to the Python Documentation on the SCC as well. Happy Pythoning!