Python equivalent to PHP's str word count

I’ve been really enjoying learning Python. I’m discovering that it has plenty of its own little foibles, but on balance, seems to make a bit more sense than PHP (list slices are so much easier to remember than substr() or is it substring() or sub_str()?!)

I’m still working on my Pythonic Static Blogging system, dubbed pyDimension for want of inspiration, and just finished implementing my static search indexing system. Python didn’t come with an obvious way to generate a list of word from a body of text like PHP does, so I had to implement my own.

In PHP, I generated a list of words to use as indexes with this:

$words = array_unique(
            str_replace("'", '', 
    , 1));

When you pass the 1 parameter to PHP’s str_word_count() it returns an array of words and it’s quite clever about what it considers a word.

I couldn’t find anything obvious in Python’s Standard Library, so with a little bit of tinkering, I came up with this:

PUNCTUATION = "#$%&"'()*+,./:;<=>!?@[]^`{|}~"

def get_words(text):
    depunc = text.lower()
    for p in PUNCTUATION:
        depunc = depunc.replace(p, ' ')

    all_words = set(depunc.split())
    words = []

    for w in all_words:
        if len(w) > 2 and not w.isdigit():

    return words

The string package has a punctuation constant, but I wanted to keep underscores and hyphens, that way get_words would be indexed as the full method name, rather than ‘get’ and ‘words’, which is less meaningful. I also decided to exclude words of one or two characters, and numbers. Ideally I wanted to keep numbers, as they are useful - for example, in my post about Dropbox LanSync, indexing the port number would be useful. However, because of the way I remove punctuation, numbers with significant formatting, such as dates or times wouldn’t be indexed properly, so I decided to leave them out.

Once I have a list of all the words in a post or page, I add the URL of that item to a list stored in a file named for each word.

###Update This doesn’t work when it’s running through mod_wsgi so I changed it