How to guard against bugs like this one?

Stephen Hansen apt.shansen at
Fri Feb 5 21:19:26 CET 2010

On Fri, Feb 5, 2010 at 12:16 PM, John Nagle <nagle at> wrote:

> kj wrote:
>> Through a *lot* of trial an error I finally discovered that the
>> root cause of the problem was the fact that, in the same directory
>> as, there is *another* innocuous little script, totally
>> unrelated, whose name happens to be
>   The right answer to this is to make module search return an
> error if two modules satisfy the search criteria.  "First find"
> isn't a good solution.

And thereby slowdown every single import and application startup time as the
common case of finding a module in one of the first couple entries in
sys.path now has to search it in every single item on that path. Its not
uncommon to have a LOT of things on sys.path.

No thanks. "First Find" is good enough, especially with PEP328 and
absolute_import being on in Python 3 (and presumably 2.7). It doesn't really
help older Python versions unfortunately, but changing how import works
wouldn't help them anyways. Yeah, there might be two paths on sys.path which
both have a '' at the top level and First Find might return the
wrong one, but... people making poor decisions on code organization and not
using packages isn't something the language really needs to fix.

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