Python's import: why doesn't it work?

djw dwelch91 at
Sun Sep 29 13:51:32 EDT 2002

Jurie Horneman wrote:
> "Jurie Horneman" <jhorneman at> wrote in message
> news:9ac02e81.0209290839.4f4d6475 at
> My thanks to both of the people who have ignored my ranting and tried to
> help me. I believe I did what you suggested, but it didn't work, hence my
> frustration.
> Right after posting my original problem, I completely removed and
> reinstalled Python. And hey, now it works, with solution 4, ie packages as
> they are described in the documentation. I don't know what I did to my
> installation to make it do that, but my problem appears to be solved.
> For what it's worth - I've already been called on this once in a private
> email: although my post was meant to illustrate my frustration and criticism
> of the Python docs, it was also meant to be at least partly
> self-deprecatory. I should have known better: not because nobody out there
> gets that, but because text, and especially text sent out to millions of
> people, just is not a good place for irony - especially when one is asking
> for help. So if you felt offended: sorry, that wasn't what I intended.
> However, I do stand by my criticisms of the Python docs.
> Jurie.

Although I believe that the Python docs are a bit on the brief side 
sometimes, I don't think this topic has this problem... if you look at 
the package docs at:

... it has a nicely done example of a directory layout and how the files fit into the picture. What I would fault the docs with 
is the fact that (having gone through this fustration myself) this 
information is not easily discoverable. How was I supposed to know that 
I needed a "package" in order to import a module from a subdirectory? 
I'm sure many would say, go buy a Python book and look there... but I 
did that, and the books aren't any better in my opinion in this area. 
This topic of importing modules from various directories has been my 
biggest fustration with the language... definitely a "wart" in my 
opinion. Don't get me wrong, discovering Python-and-All-Its-Splendor has 
changed my whole approach to software development (and made it fun 
again), but there are still a few things that could use some polish.



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