[Python-Dev] Draft: PEP for imports

Guido van Rossum guido at python.org
Fri Jan 30 10:29:19 EST 2004

> Hello Guido,

Hello Armin,

> >   from /home/guido/lib/python import neatTricks
> Keeping the amount of magic behind import as low as possible seems
> very important, because they are not a minor feature but something
> that every beginner must reasonably understand; I've already seen it
> as an obstacle.  The above statement has the advantage of looking
> obvious; but in addition to the package name problem there is the
> fact that directory names are not always valid Python identifiers.
> A last try:
>   import neatTricks in "/home/guido/lib/python"      # no package
>   import package.module in "/home/guido/lib/python"  # package
>   import foo in "."                                  # relative import
>   from neatTricks in "../cmds" import a, b, c
>   s=os.path.join("some", "where"); import foo in s   # expression path
> where the semantics would be to search sys.path if and only if no
> 'in' clause is specified.  ('in' doesn't sound quite right...)

The 'from package at <string> import module' syntax proposed later
reads better, and the new keyword 'at' could be handled syntactically
the same way as 'as'.

I'm still -0 on this feature.  You say that every beginner must learn
import.  This is indeed true.  But shouldn't they learn how to set the
path right rather than learn how to import by filename?  Setting the
path is one of the things that everybody must learn about import

In any software endeavor, there comes a time when a piece of code is
released with a reference to a file name that is only valid on the
author's machine.  I think we shouldn't encourage beginners to make
such mistakes!

--Guido van Rossum (home page: http://www.python.org/~guido/)

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