nested scopes

Nathaniel Gray n8gray at
Mon Feb 5 05:01:58 EST 2001

Tim Peters wrote:

> Whether a name is local to a given scope is, in Python, determined by
> whether the name is *bound* somewhere in that scope.  "import *" counts as
> a
> binding, but the compiler has no idea which names are being bound.  So
> when compiling code for a nested function N, referencing a non-local name
> (one that is not bound to within N's body) X, the compiler has no idea
> which scope X belongs to if an "import *" (or "exec" stmt) appears in an
> enclosing
> function E.  Any name whatsoever *may* become local in E then, but it's
> impossible to know anything about that at compile-time.

Interesting issue.  What if the following was allowed:
>>> from tim_bot_module import tb*

telling the compiler that only names beginning with "tb" are imported.  
This way you could still design libraries to use from ... import ..* 
without totally throwing efficiency out the window.  I know import * is 
considered harmful, but occasionally (think tkinter) it's a useful 
construct, assuming the library is designed to prevent name conflicts.

Just a thought,

             Nathaniel Gray
   California Institute of Technology
     Computation and Neural Systems
     n8gray <at> caltech <dot> edu

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