where to import

Santoso Wijaya santoso.wijaya at gmail.com
Thu Feb 17 17:12:10 EST 2011

As a general rule, I group all my imports in the beginning of the module's
source, even if it is only used a handful of times by a few functions.

However, on such cases as the import is only needed by specific function(s)
zero or once, then I do the import in the function itself. Importing
argparse, for example:

import sys

def api_func(*args, **kwargs):

def main(args):
import argparse

# ...


if __name__ == '__main__':



On Thu, Feb 17, 2011 at 1:45 PM, Terry Reedy <tjreedy at udel.edu> wrote:

> On 2/17/2011 12:27 PM, andrea crotti wrote:
>  Well no I wasn't really worried about performances.
>> I just thought that if an external module is really almost never used,
>> it might make sense to import it only when it's really needed.
> If the module is only used in one function and the function may called 0 or
> 1 times, them yes, it makes some sense. But as soon as the function is
> called multiple times, or the module is used in more than one function, or
> someone wants to quickly look at the file to determine its dependencies,
> then local imports become more trouble than they are worth.
> For instance, suppose a new maintainer adds a function to the module that
> needs something from another module. If all imports are at the top, then it
> is trivial to see what imports are already made and whether they need
> modification.
> I believe the stdlib used to have some local imports, and might still, for
> all I know. PEP 8 is is based on long-term experience with the
> multi-maintainer stdlib as well as some stylistic preferences.
> --
> Terry Jan Reedy
> --
> http://mail.python.org/mailman/listinfo/python-list
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