Global Variables in OOP and Python

Gary Herron gherron at
Sat Dec 31 03:03:55 CET 2005

newbie wrote:

>I have questions about global variables in OOP (in general) and Python
>(in specific).  I understand (I think) that global variables are
>generally not a good idea. However, if there are variables that need to
>be accessed by a number of classes that exists in separate namespaces
>(files), what would be the best way to do this?
>So far, I have approached the problem by making the variables
>attributes of one class and passing instances of the class as variables
>to the other class' methods.
>The other way I thought of is to create a separate class that consists
>of the variables and to use the
>from <file name> import *
That form is deprecated. Better (and certainly clearer to any reader of 
the code) is to leave them in the module.

Define a module, say Parameters, that defines any number of variables 
containing useful values. Then
import Parameters
wherever you want and refer to

You can even add runtime parameters (say options and paths from the 
command line) to the module during your initialization code, and those 
will be available wherever Parameters is imported:
Parameters.xyzzy = 'whatever'
Parameters.startDirectory = os.getcwd() # Get working directory at startup
(Even if the import of Parameters in some file occurs before the 
initialization code has a chance to run.)

Gary Herron

>in all of the files (namespaces) where it is needed.
>Is there a better way?
>Are the two ideas presented above acceptable? If so, is one better than
>the other from an OOP POV?

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