Q: Why is __init__.py required

Gordon McMillan gmcm at hypernet.com
Mon Aug 2 05:26:27 CEST 1999


G. David Kuhlman writes:

> I have looked and looked for this.  Whenever I put an empty
> __init__.py in a package, I ask myself why I have to do this.  I
> read Guido's article on packages and it told me that I have to put
> an __init__.py in a directory in order for the directory to be
> recognized as a package.  But it doesn't say why.
> 
> I'm not asking for this behavior to be changed.  I like it the way
> it is.  I just want to know *why* it has to be that way.  In what
> way would the Python interpreter get confused if it didn't have
> __init__.py to distinguish package directories from non-package
> directories?

import a.b becomes:
 import a
 if a is a package:
    in this same directory, look for b
 else
    get this thing called b out of module a

> It bugs me when I don't know why.  My parents used to have to
> explain things to me like why I couldn't jump off the roof of the
> house.

they-sure-blew-that-one-<wink>-ly y'rs

- Gordon




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