Can Python Module Locate Itself?

Skip Montanaro skip at
Wed Sep 17 16:33:14 CEST 2003

    sj> I have written several small shell utilities in Python and typically
    sj> use comments at the start of the source file as documentation. A
    sj> command line option allows the user to read this documentation.  The
    sj> problem is that I have to explicitly code the source files location
    sj> within the source which is not very portable.  Is there anyway for a
    sj> python module to locate its own source ?

This doesn't answer your question about locating the source file (yes, you
can most of the time, check the __file__ global), but I start out with this
template when creating a new script:

    #!/usr/bin/env python

    Python Script Template

    usage %(prog)s [ -h ] ...

    -h - print this documentation and exit.

    import sys
    import getopt

    prog = sys.argv[0]

    def usage(msg=None):
        if msg is not None:
            print >> sys.stderr, msg
        print >> sys.stderr, __doc__.strip() % globals()

    def main(args):
            opts, args = getopt.getopt(args, "h", ["--help"])
        except getopt.GetoptError, msg:
            return 1

        for opt, arg in opts:
            if opt in ("-h", "--help"):
                return 0

        return 0

    if __name__ == "__main__":

This guarantees I always have a help capability, no matter how trivial.
(This is not original with me.  I gleaned all the idioms used in this script
from this group over the years.)


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