[Python-Dev] If you shadow a module in the standard library that IDLE depends on, bad things happen

Laura Creighton lac at openend.se
Thu Oct 29 11:59:44 EDT 2015

see the following:
lac at smartwheels:~/junk$ echo "print ('hello there')" >string.py
lac at smartwheels:~/junk$ idle-python3.5
hello there
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "<string>", line 1, in <module>
  File "/usr/lib/python3.5/idlelib/run.py", line 10, in <module>
    from idlelib import CallTips
  File "/usr/lib/python3.5/idlelib/CallTips.py", line 16, in <module>
    from idlelib.HyperParser import HyperParser
  File "/usr/lib/python3.5/idlelib/HyperParser.py", line 14, in <module>
    _ASCII_ID_CHARS = frozenset(string.ascii_letters + string.digits + "_")
AttributeError: module 'string' has no attribute 'ascii_letters'

IDLE then produces a popup that says:

IDLE's subprocess didn't make connection.  Either IDLE can't stat a subprocess por personal firewall software is blocking the connection. <ok>


I think that life would be a whole lot easier for people if instead we got
a message:

Warning: local file /u/lac/junk/string.py shadows module named string in the 
Standard Library

I think that it is python exec that would have to do this -- though of
course the popup could also warn about shadowing in general, instead of
sending people on wild goose chases over their firewalls.

Would this be hard to do?


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