[Python-ideas] disabling .pyc and .pyo files

Kristján Valur Jónsson kristjan at ccpgames.com
Tue Dec 8 18:51:46 CET 2009

Hello there.
We have a large project involving multiple perforce branches of hundreds of .py files each.
Although we employ our own import mechanism for the bulk of these files, we do use the regular import mechanism for an essential core of them.

Repeatedly we run into trouble because of stray .pyo (and/or .pyc) files.  This can happen for a variety of reasons, but most often it occurs when .py files are being removed, or moved in the hierarchy.  The problem is that the application will happily load and import an orphaned .pyo file, even though the .py file has gone or moved.

I looked at the import code and I found that it is trivial to block the reading and writing of .pyo files.  I am about to implement that patch for our purposes, thus forcing recompilation of the .py files on each run if so specified.   This will ensure that the application will execute only the code represented by the checked-out .py files.  But it occurred to me that this functionality might be of interest to other people than just us.  I can imagine, for example, that buildbots running the python regression testsuite might be running into problems with stray .pyo files from time to time.

Do you think that such a command line option would be useful for Python at large?

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