[Python-Dev] datetime.date.today() raises "AttributeError: time"

Tal Einat taleinat at gmail.com
Sun Nov 16 14:55:25 CET 2008

Steve Holden wrote:
> Tal Einat wrote:
>> It this desired behavior?
>> At the very least the exception should be more detailed, perhaps to
>> the point of suggesting the probable cause of the error (i.e.
>> overriding the time module).
> How is this different from any other case where you import a module with
> a standard library name conflict, thereby confusing modules loaded later
> standard library. Should we do the same for any error induced in such a way?

The difference is that here the exception is generated directly in the
C code so you don't get an intelligible traceback. The C code for
datetime imports the time module via the Python C API.

In other words, here a function from a module in the stdlib, datetime,
barfs unexpectedly because I happen to have a file name time.py
hanging around in some directory. There is no traceback and no
intelligible exception message, just "AttributeError: time". I had to
dig through datetime's C code to figure out which module was being
imported via the Python C API, which turned out to be time.

 This is rare enough that I've never had something like this happen to
me in seven years of heavy Python programming.

- Tal

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