Importing * From a Package

Patrick Doyle wpdster at
Mon Aug 6 16:06:51 CEST 2007

Reading through the Python tutorial, I got to section 6.4.1,
"Importing * From a Package", which states:

"If __all__ is not defined, the statement from Sound.Effects import *
does not import all submodules from the package Sound.Effects into the
current namespace; ..."

It then goes on to state:

"[It] imports whatever names are defined in the package [including]
any submodules of the package that were explicitly loaded by previous
import statements."

I am curious to learn the rationale for this behavior, since it just
caught me by surprise (hence the reason I was pouring over the
tutorial document in such detail :-))

Thus far, everything in Python has seemed very intuitive to me,
however the behavior of "from package import *" baffles me.

So I figured I'd ask -- why does Python behave this way.

(And now, I'm going to do some code cleanup :-))


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