[Python-ideas] Python package files

Adam Atlas adam at atlas.st
Mon Apr 30 17:26:05 CEST 2007

On 30 Apr 2007, at 10.22, Christian Heimes wrote:
> Adam Atlas wrote:
>> I think it would be useful for Python to accept imports of standalone
>> files representing entire packages, maybe with the extension .pyp. A
>> package file would basically be a ZIP file, so it would follow fairly
>> easily from the current zipimport mechanism... its top-level
>> directory would be the contents of a package named by the outer ZIP
>> file. In other words, suppose we have a ZIP file called
>> "package.pyp", and at its top level, it contains "__init__.py" and
>> "blah.py". Anywhere this can be located, it would be equivalent to a
>> physical directory called "package" containing those two files. So
>> you can simply do "import package" as usual, regardless of whether
>> it's a directory or a .pyp.
> What are the benefits of your proposal over the already established
> Python eggs? As far as I understand your proposal it's not much
> different to eggs. In fact eggs + setuptools support more features  
> like
> dependencies, multiversion installation and many more.

Python eggs use zipimport, which allow them to be elements of  
sys.path. Then, modules inside them can be imported as usual. My  
proposal is to make .pyp ZIP files importable themselves. You import  
a .pyp just like a package directory, instead of having to add an egg  
to sys.path and then import modules contained in it. It's convenient.

It is true that eggs do have many benefits for production use, but  
often while developing something, or using a package that you don't  
expect to use outside one project, or just trying out a package that  
you're not sure you'll use, it's simpler to be able to just drop a  
file into your project directory instead of having to `sudo  
easy_install` it system-wide. Zero-installation is nice.

Though since setuptools is set to be included in Python 2.6 (right?),  
maybe it could take advantage of those benefits -- perhaps .pyps  
could optionally include an EGG-INFO directory, and there could be a  
simple tool to transform those .pyps into eggs and vice versa. That  
way you can use whichever way is the most practical at the time, but  
be able to easily switch to the other if need be.

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