Relative import bug or not?

Alexey Borzenkov snaury at
Sat Oct 14 18:51:02 EDT 2006

After reading PEP-0328 I wanted to give relative imports a try:

# somepkg/

# somepkg/
from __future__ import absolute_import
from . import test2

if __name__ == "__main__":
    print "Test"

# somepkg/

But it complaints:
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "C:\1\somepkg\", line 1, in <module>
    from . import test2
ValueError: Attempted relative import in non-package

Does this mean that packages that implement self tests are not allowed
to use relative import? Or is it just a bug? I can understand that I
can use "import test2" when it's __main__, but when it's not now it
complains about no module test2 with absolute_import on.

PEP-0328 also has this phrase: "Relative imports use a module's
__name__ attribute to determine that module's position in the package
hierarchy. If the module's name does not contain any package
information (e.g. it is set to '__main__') then relative imports are
resolved as if the module were a top level module, regardless of where
the module is actually located on the file system.", but maybe my
english knowledge is not really good, because I can't understand what
should actually happen here ("relative imports are resolved as if the
module were a top level module")... :-/

So is it a bug, or am I doing something wrong?

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