global, globals(), _global ?

robert no-spam at
Wed Mar 15 11:03:56 CET 2006

Using global variables in Python often raises chaos. Other languages use 
a clear prefix for globals.

* you forget to declare a global
* or you declare a global too much or in conflict
* you have a local identical variable name and want to save/load it 
to/from the global with same name
* while you add code, the definition of globals moves more and more 
apart from their use cases -> weirdness; programmers thinking is fragmented
* using globals()['xy']  is 'stringy non-program-code'

Thus, since long time at the head of my bigger modules I often put...

_global = sys.modules[__name__]

...and use global variables only/mainly like

def f(y):

for me this method is much more clear overall. And it is in line with 
the clear exposition of "self" as regular object in Python methods (in a 
much more self-similiar way compared to frozen @ $ m_... hacks in other 

I know, this home created _global creates a circular ref, but usually 
this is not serious as modules are unload only at the end of a program.

( side question: does this maybe hinder global objects from being 
__del__'ed correctly; is at least gc() run when all modules are pulled 
off at exit() )

Somehow I miss a nice standard method for using globals in an 
unfragmented way everywhere. What do you think?


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