[Python-Dev] New relative import issue

Paul Moore p.f.moore at gmail.com
Thu Sep 21 23:23:08 CEST 2006

On 9/21/06, Guido van Rossum <guido at python.org> wrote:
> On 9/21/06, Paul Moore <p.f.moore at gmail.com> wrote:
> > On 9/21/06, Guido van Rossum <guido at python.org> wrote:
> > > I think one missing feature is a mechanism whereby you can say "THIS
> > > package (gives top-level package name) lives HERE (gives filesystem
> > > location of package)" without adding the parent of HERE to sys.path
> > > for all module searches. I think Phillip Eby's egg system might
> > > benefit from this.
> >
> > This is pretty easy to do with a custom importer on sys.meta_path.
> > Getting the details right is a touch fiddly, but it's conceptually
> > straightforward.
> Isn't the main problem how to specify a bunch of these in the
> environment? Or can this be done through .pkg files? Those aren't
> cheap either though -- it would be best if the work was only done when
> the package is actually needed.

Hmm, I wasn't thinking of the environment. I pretty much never use
PYTHONPATH, so I tend to forget about that aspect. I was assuming an
importer object with a "register(package_name, filesystem_path)"
method. Then register the packages you want in your code, or in

I've attached a trivial proof of concept.

But yes, you'd need to consider the environment. Possibly just have an
initialisation function called at load time (I'm assuming the new hook
is defined in a system module of some sort - I mean when that system
module is loaded) which parses an environment variable and issues a
set of register() calls.

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