[Python-Dev] New relative import issue

Steve Holden steve at holdenweb.com
Tue Sep 19 14:40:45 CEST 2006

Greg Ewing wrote:
> Armin Rigo wrote:
>>My (limited) understanding of the motivation for relative imports is
>>that they are only here as a transitional feature.  Fully-absolute
>>imports are the official future.
> Guido does seem to have a dislike for relative imports,
> but I don't really understand why. The usefulness of
> being able to make a package self-contained and movable
> to another place in the package hierarchy without hacking
> it seems self-evident to me.
> What's happening in Py3k? Will relative imports still
> exist?
>>is no clean way from a test module 'foo.bar.test.test_hello' to import
>>'foo.bar.hello': the top-level directory must first be inserted into
>>sys.path magically.
> I've felt for a long time that problems like this
> wouldn't arise so much if there were a closer
> connection between the package hierarchy and the
> file system structure. There really shouldn't be
> any such thing as sys.path -- the view that any
> given module has of the package namespace should
> depend only on where it is, not on the history of
> how it came to be invoked.
This does, of course, assume that you're importing modules from the 
filestore, which assumption is no longer valid in the presence of PEP 
302 importers.

The current initialization code actually looks for os.py as a means of 
establishing path elements. This should really be better integrated with 
the PEP 302 mechanism: ideally Python should work on systems that don't 
rely on filestore for import (even though for the foreseeable future all 
systems will continue to do this).

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