I would iterate through
sample[int].xml for example and grab the next available name that is not used by a file or directory.
import os i = 0 while os.path.exists("sample%s.xml" % i): i += 1 fh = open("sample%s.xml" % i, "w") ....
That should give you sample0.xml initially, then sample1.xml, etc.
Note that the relative file notation by default relates to the file directory/folder you run the code from. Use absolute paths if necessary. Use
os.getcwd() to read your current dir and
os.chdir(path_to_dir) to set a new current dir.