[Python-Dev] Imports with underscores

Steve Holden steve at holdenweb.com
Mon Jan 9 06:42:33 EST 2017

One of my developers recently submitted a pull request incuding a number of
lines like

import os as _os

When I asked him why he suggested a) this would improve encapsulation, and
b) the practice was supported in the stdlib. Further investigation reveals
that some modules (e.g. argparse, crypt, difflib, random) do use this
technique, but it is far from universal.

So I thought it would be useful to get input from current devs about the
value of this practice, since to me it seems somewhat anti-pythonic. What
advantages does it confer?

Steve Holden
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