import mysteries

Ben Finney bignose+hates-spam at
Fri Jun 22 04:02:35 CEST 2007

David Abrahams <dave at> writes:

> I'm pretty comfortable with Python, but recently I'm constantly
> finding mysterious issues with import.  For example, looking at
> the examples use the symbol 'HTML' but it's not defined locally, it's
> not explicitly imported, and there's no import *.  Yet doctest will
> test this module and it passes with flying colors.  It turns out HTML
> is defined in genshi.input.  How do I know that?  I grepped for it.
> How does it become available to this module?

That's a mystery to me too. I can't see by looking at the module where
this 'HTML' name comes from, and as you say there is no import of

Whatever the explanation, it's a violation of one of the strengths of
Python: namespaces. Names that appear in the current namespace (as
happens with 'from foo import *', and as seems to be happening here)
are bad programming style, for exactly the reason that they make the
code more difficult to understand.

 \       "bash awk grep perl sed, df du, du-du du-du, vi troff su fsck |
  `\                  rm * halt LART LART LART!"  -- The Swedish BOFH, |
_o__)                                            alt.sysadmin.recovery |
Ben Finney

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