[Python-Dev] PEP 328 - absolute imports (python-dev sprint at PyCon)

M.-A. Lemburg mal at egenix.com
Tue Nov 1 22:11:52 CET 2005

Guido van Rossum wrote:
> On 11/1/05, Phillip J. Eby <pje at telecommunity.com> wrote:
>>At 10:22 AM 11/1/2005 -0700, Guido van Rossum wrote:
>>>* PEP 328 - absolute/relative import
>>I assume that references to 2.4 in that PEP should be changed to 2.5, and
>>so on.
> For the part that hasn't been implemented yet, yes.
>>It also appears to me that the PEP doesn't record the issue brought up by
>>some people about the current absolute/relative ambiguity being useful for
>>packaging purposes.  i.e., being able to nest third-party packages such
>>that they end up seeing their dependencies, even though they're not
>>installed at the "root" package level.
>>For example, I have a package that needs Python 2.4's version of pyexpat,
>>and I need it to run in 2.3, but I can't really overwrite the 2.3 pyexpat,
>>so I just build a backported pyexpat and drop it in the package, so that
>>the code importing it just ends up with the right thing.
>>Of course, that specific example is okay since 2.3 isn't going to somehow
>>grow absolute importing.  :)  But I think people brought up other examples
>>besides that, it's just the one that I personally know I've done.
> I guess this ought to be recorded. :-(
> The issue has been beaten to death and my position remains firm:
> rather than playing namespace games, consistent renaming is the right
> thing to do here. This becomes a trivial source edit, which beats the
> problems of debugging things when it doesn't work out as expected
> (which is very common due to the endless subtleties of loading
> multiple versions of the same code).

Just for reference, may I remind you of this thread last year:


The PEP's timeline should be updated accordingly.

Marc-Andre Lemburg

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