Trying to Learn Packages

Saul Spatz sspatz at
Mon Jun 23 06:13:22 CEST 2008

Cédric Lucantis wrote:
> Le Sunday 22 June 2008 16:07:37 Saul Spatz, vous avez écrit :
>> Hi,
>> I'm making a project into my first package, mainly for organization, but
>> also to learn how to do it.  I have a number of data files, both
>> experimental results and PNG files.  My project is organized as a root
>> directory, with two subdirectories, src and data, and directory trees
>> below them.  I put the root directory in my pythonpath, and I've no
>> trouble accessing the modules, but for the data, I'm giving relative
>> paths, that depend on the current working directory.
>> This has obvious drawbacks, and hard-coding a directory path is worse.
>> Where the data files are numbers, I can simply incorporate them in
>> python scripts that initialize data structures , but what can I do with
>> the image files?
> For a small project you can do the same with images or any kind of data, for 
> instance by serializing your objects with pickle in ascii mode and putting 
> the result in a string constant (well, I never did it and can't guarantee it 
> will work, this is only an example of what people do in many situations)
>> What is the usual way of dealing with this?
> A more conventional way is to provide a configure script to run before 
> compiling/installing. That script should let the user choose where to install 
> datafiles with a command line option such as --datadir=/path or provide a 
> reasonable default value. Then it will auto-generate some code defining this 
> value as a global variable, to make it accessible to the rest of your own 
> code. Ideally, your app would also provide a command line option or an 
> environment variable to override this hard-coded setting at runtime.
> But maybe the distutils tools have some features for this, I don't know enough 
> of them to tell that.
A couple of good ideas here.  Thanks.

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